A new ground for Newport Football Club has been approved.
South Coast Leisure’s (SCL) plans for a new floodlit pitch, main stand and bar/function room on the site off Fairlee Road were given the green light by the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee last night (Tuesday).
Residents had expressed concerns over access, and noise and light disruption but SCL says a new entrance off Whippingham Road and exit onto Racecourse, along with additional landscaping, will help screen residents from activity at the ground.
Paul Airey, planning consultant acting for South Coast Leisure, said:
“I would like to thank the IW Council for the diligent way it has dealt with this planning application. We are delighted the council shares our view that this is a suitable location for a new facility that will make Newport FC a sustainable club and also provide sporting and other facilities for wider community use.
We can now concentrate on the planning application for a retail and business park at St. George’s Park. This will generate the funds to build the new stadium at the Racecourse and, with a fair wind, we hope to have the new stadium built and occupied s during the 2018/2019 season. The creation of this new sportsground is of course dependent on a suitable development scheme at St Georges Park being approved and hopefully this consent will be given in the summer.”
Peter Westhorpe, secretary of the Newport Football Club Supporters Society said:
“We have watched closely over the years as SCL have tried to find a suitable site to relocate the ground and have shared their frustrations over the difficulties in finding a site that meets everyone’s collective expectations. This is the ideal location for the ground and the proposed facilities are exactly the right specification for our current use and future aspirations. The site is close to Newport, is easily accessible, and will provide us with a modern, low maintenance facility which will allow us to prosper.
“Newport FC already generates a wide interest at youth level from both boys and girls, and the facility will undoubtable help this grow and thrive. I hope that this will, in time, also reflect on the future success of the senior teams and the wider status of the club. The ground and the clubhouse, with disabled access, will also be available for wider community use. These are undoubtedly exciting times not just for the club, but also for the Island community.”