Parking spaces glitch delays stadium plans

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PROPOSALS for a community football ground at Moreton Hall, in Bury St Edmunds, have been deferred after councillors discovered planning discrepancies.

The plans, to transform the 11 acre arable farmland site, were set back after councillors at a St Edmundsbury Borough Council development control committee meeting yesterday spotted issues over the number of parking spaces.

The committee unanimously voted to defer the matter after spotting about 140 parking spaces on the development blueprint, as opposed to the agreed 235 spaces.

Cllr Peter Stevens said: “It’s just not good enough to put this in front of the council in this state. It’s a disgraceful state of affairs.

“I will withdraw my approval and propose deferring.”

The development, which will include a clubhouse and community football centre with stadium pitch, 500-seat stand, additional artificial pitch and two community pitches, will now go back to the drawing board.

The ground, which is set to become the new home for Bury Town FC, which is currently based at Ram Meadow, had been recommended for approval by officers despite a number of objections from Moreton Hall residents and nearby businesses.

Objectors raised concerns about noise and light pollution, increased traffic and parking problems.

Planning officers said these concerns had been ‘adequately addressed’ with the provision of a large car park and overflow car park at Denny Bros’ Kempson Way offices, ‘careful positioning’ of lights and use of fencing to block noise.

A statement from the planning officers said: “Overall it is considered that the development will bring positive community benefits to Bury St Edmunds and its surroundings.”

But councillors noticed the parking discrepancy.

The facility has been identified as a priority by the Football Association and for funding support by the Football Foundation and Football Stadia Improvement Fund.