Go-ahead given for new stands at football club

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Eastbourne United Football Club has been granted planning permission to replace its dilapidated stand and build three new stands and a pay booth at its home at the Oval in Channel View Road.

An application for the facelift came before Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday night and was granted permission despite objections from people living near the ground.

Lisa Rawlinson, the council’s chief planning officer, told the committee, “The proposals involve the demolition of the existing dated and unattractive stand and will involve the general improvement of the site as a whole.” The plans will see the derelict stand demolished and three stands and a pay booth built. In addition, 30 car parking spaces will be provided at the rear of properties in Channel View Road.

A spokesperson for Eastbourne United said the refurbishment work was required to enable the club to continue playing at Level 9 and progress to Level 8 in the Ryman League Division One South.

He added that improved facilities would encourage players and spectators, boost takings and lure a new main sponsor.

“The new look of the Oval will not only encourage players but also new members of the public and local community groups who would be able to use the facilities and therefore the Oval can grow to become a great community asset,” he said.

But residents living near to the ground voiced their concerns and a petition signed by objectors was also sent to the council.

They said the residents of Wartling Road and Channel View Road have until now tolerated the activities of the football club and keep their windows shut during match days and practice evenings and the Oval, surrounded by residential properties, is not a suitable location for a stadium.

But councillors said the proposals would be an improvement at the site and agreed to the plans.