News update 30/05/18

Newbury’s Football Stadium – Breach of Core Polices by WBC

[an email sent to all West Berks councillors and their CEO]

Dear Councillor,

It’s become quite apparent over the last few months that there is still a lack of understanding by many of West Berkshire’s Councillors of the fact that Newbury’s Football Stadium is actually protected by West Berkshire Council’s own Core Policies (see below). Also that the Council has an obligation to maintain community access to the ground.

The decision to evict an operator (Newbury FC) who were not only paying rent to you but have been paying all the utility bills, maintenance costs and insurance too and for West Berks to take on the costs and management overhead, is a strange one for sure and one that can not be in the public interest.

However, to give you a very quick overview of the Stadium and why it is an important asset to our community, I would ask you to watch this short film we made when we started our engagement with the Council in 2016. It would take less than 4 minutes to watch and listen and we would love to hear what you think of it, please spare us 4 minutes of your time.

Click here

And here’s a story from the local newspaper just last week about the type of community event which is being refused by yourselves from June.

Click here

14.1.Area Delivery Plan Policy 2 (ADPP2):

“Existing community facilities will be protected and, where appropriate, enhanced. These include leisure and cultural facilities, which contribute to the attraction of the town for both residents and visitors.”

West Berkshire Council’s interactive map identifies Newbury Football Ground as a cultural facility.

Local Planning Policy CS.18 as a vital part of Green Infrastructure in West Berkshire

The Policy is unambiguous “the district’s Green Infrastructure will be protected and enhanced” and “Developments resulting in the loss of green infrastructure or harm to its use or enjoyment by the public will not be permitted”. Paragraph 5.129 names Newbury Football Grounds as part of West Berks’ Green Infrastructure and sporting provision: “sports clubs with good facilities such as Newbury Rugby Club, Newbury Town, Thatcham Town and Hungerford Town Football Clubs.

Lee McDougall (Press and Communications Manager – NCFG)