West Berks Council votes unanimously to support the redevelopment of new football stadium in Faraday Road

West Berks Council last night voted unanimously to support 2 planning applications submitted by Newbury Community Football Group (NCFG) to redevelop the existing football ground to a new state of-the-art Football Stadium, with multiple 3G pitches, a new Club House and stands.

Lee McDougall from NCFG who spoke to the at Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday evening said “we are delighted to have received the full and unanimous support of West Berks Council for both of our planning applications. We’d also like to thank the 2,000 people who signed the petition for the applications, this is a huge response for a town the size of Newbury and highlights the community demand for improved sporting facilities in the area, particularly for children”

The support for the Planning Application is another key success for the volunteer-run campaign group NCFG, who were instrumental in persuading the Council to extend the lease for Newbury FC by 2 years in 2016 and successfully applied to get the football ground protected status as an “Asset of Community Value”

Lee went on to say “while the long term plans for development are progressed we still need to focus on getting the ground re-opened to the community in the intervening period. With a modest investment and some temporary changing rooms, the Community Football Ground in Faraday Road could be opened to play 11-a-side football again within a couple of months”

The ground was controversially closed by the Council in June 2018 when they evicted the incumbent men’s team and the ground has been left to deteriorate into an unusable state. The stand and perimeter fencing have been removed and the club house and changing room buildings have not been maintained.

While Council support was given, it will only form a recommendation to the Planning Appeal Inspectorate, who will make the final decision. This was after NCFG submitted an “appeal for non-determination” in November 2019 after their planning applications had still not been processed by West Berks Council despite being originally submitted in March 2018

Lee McDougall
Newbury Community Football Group (NCFG)