KICKED OUT: Stadium plan for Weymouth Football Club turned down

Image of proposed new stadium

Planning meeting at Pavilion

Cllr Christine James spoke out against the plans

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new 5,000 capacity football stadium for Weymouth FC in Lodmoor have been thrown out by borough councillors.

Nearly 100 local residents attended the highly-charged planning and traffic committee meeting of the borough council at the Pavilion today.

Councillors voted unanimously to reject the application due to lack of compliance with land contamination guidelines and fears that the stadium and surrounding urbanisation of the area would adversely affect Lodmoor Country Park.

Members of the committee visited the site on Tuesday morning and also received a detailed report from council officers who urged councillors to grant planning permission for the stadium, which would include an all-seater stand housing 700 fans plus three smaller covered stands taking the capacity up to 5,000, but they decided against the proposals.

It remains unclear whether the decision will be appealed by the developers.

The plans, submitted by developers Wessex Delivery LLP, outlined the development as a community sports stadium, and included two pitches a bar, a cafe, a shop and a car park for 38 spaces.

Plans for a new stadium for the Terras and the redevelopment of the club’s current home ground, the Bob Lucas Stadium, have divided opinion in the town.

The issue of whether to build 170 homes at the current stadium is going to appeal after West Dorset District Council refused planning permission. The matter will go before the Planning Inspectorate in November.

It was also revealed last week the borough council had not accepted any offer for the land at Lodmoor ahead of the proposed re-development.

Councillor Ian Bruce said: “This land is owned by the borough council and we have not accepted any offers from developers for the land.

“The council has a number of plans to utilise this land for the benefit of the area. The council own the site, but ownership of the site and planning permission are two separate things.”

Peter Tanney, from Tanner and Tilley, a firm that specialises in planning applications, said the new stadium development would create 360 jobs during construction plus an extra 34 permanent positions once building was finished.

He was then heckled by the audience when he said that the floodlights would cause no more disturbance than the current street lighting in the area, and the noise generated by the stadium would be no more than what’s generated in the surrounding facilities such as the Sea Life centre.

Speaking at the meeting, Weymouth FC vice-chairman Tony Greaves said that at a recent shareholder meeting, 98 per cent of shareholders had backed the move and the club was in discussions with shareholders and developers to ensure the right facilities were built at the stadium.

Eleven residents spoke of their objections to the proposals, as they slammed the financial running of the club, the lack of car parking spaces at the new stadium, the logistics of the plans and said that the council could end up with a “an extremely expensive white elephant on its hands” if they voted through proposals.

Councillors also spoke of their objections to the plans and Cllr Christine James told the meeting she was ‘insulted’ by the letter of justification sent out by developers.

She said: “I was quite insulted by the bullet points that were on the letter for the reasons for certain parts of the application and I just wonder who did it.

“If they knew the area, they would know that the street lighting is turned off at midnight so the floodlights would definitely have an adverse affect.

“Also, it is not a community sports stadium as they are suggesting, it’s a football stadium to be primarily used by footballers and football fans. Yes, the community may get to use the two pitches, but at what cost?

“And the community facilities they talk about are just a bar and some toilets.”

Weymouth Football Club refused to comment when contacted by the Echo.

 

'Exceptional plans' needed - former director

Shaun Hennessy, a former director at the football club, described the decision as a setback.

Mr Hennessy said: “I am not surprised by it. To get the stadium into that site would need some very exceptional plans for it to be accepted.

“I would say the board decided to support it, so this is probably a setback to them rather than a damaging blow.

“I would imagine that they would appeal the decision, and I’d suggest that this decision has probably played into their hands quite well.

“For Weymouth Football Club to be successful, the club needs to be making money 24/7 not just when football is on which seems not to be the case at this stadium, which is a shame.”

Comments (12)

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7:47pm Tue 19 Aug 14

MrTomSmith says...

34 permanent positions, does not in anyway mean 34 full time jobs. Lets just make that completely clear, which the above certainly does not. One permanent position could easily be 2 or 3 hours on a match day. Hardly going to boost the economy is it. Some do it out of love for the club and free entry to watch some of the game, or be involved if they can't watch it. Plus they have all these "permanent positions" already!!
Its disgusting how these loaded quotes can be flung around like this, because some people actually believe them.
34 permanent positions, does not in anyway mean 34 full time jobs. Lets just make that completely clear, which the above certainly does not. One permanent position could easily be 2 or 3 hours on a match day. Hardly going to boost the economy is it. Some do it out of love for the club and free entry to watch some of the game, or be involved if they can't watch it. Plus they have all these "permanent positions" already!! Its disgusting how these loaded quotes can be flung around like this, because some people actually believe them. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 17

7:47pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Caption Sensible says...

Too basic for my liking. Needs to be able to make money on a daily basis. That is the reason why the current stadium struggles, no money made on non-match days - unlike the Rec.
Too basic for my liking. Needs to be able to make money on a daily basis. That is the reason why the current stadium struggles, no money made on non-match days - unlike the Rec. Caption Sensible
  • Score: 14

7:55pm Tue 19 Aug 14

MrTomSmith says...

Caption Sensible wrote:
Too basic for my liking. Needs to be able to make money on a daily basis. That is the reason why the current stadium struggles, no money made on non-match days - unlike the Rec.
Yes agree, and its always going to be built on a budget way below what is really needed, because it's being built on the cheap quickly so they can get on with the homes. Doomed for failure.
[quote][p][bold]Caption Sensible[/bold] wrote: Too basic for my liking. Needs to be able to make money on a daily basis. That is the reason why the current stadium struggles, no money made on non-match days - unlike the Rec.[/p][/quote]Yes agree, and its always going to be built on a budget way below what is really needed, because it's being built on the cheap quickly so they can get on with the homes. Doomed for failure. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 18

9:21pm Tue 19 Aug 14

martaaay2 says...

does christine james not realise that there aren't any football games still playing at midnight in this country or did the world cup confuse her?
does christine james not realise that there aren't any football games still playing at midnight in this country or did the world cup confuse her? martaaay2
  • Score: 11

10:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

The Muffler says...

martaaay2 wrote:
does christine james not realise that there aren't any football games still playing at midnight in this country or did the world cup confuse her?
Typical clueless councillor, the lights actually go out at about 1am in the summer and midnight in the winter. It's almost as clueless as the Ohec getting the thoughts of an ex football club director who is now just a bankrupt hairdresser.
[quote][p][bold]martaaay2[/bold] wrote: does christine james not realise that there aren't any football games still playing at midnight in this country or did the world cup confuse her?[/p][/quote]Typical clueless councillor, the lights actually go out at about 1am in the summer and midnight in the winter. It's almost as clueless as the Ohec getting the thoughts of an ex football club director who is now just a bankrupt hairdresser. The Muffler
  • Score: 6

11:25pm Tue 19 Aug 14

bigfatlad says...

I actually cannot think of ANYWHERE in Weymouth suitable for a new football stadium. ANYWHERE!
I actually cannot think of ANYWHERE in Weymouth suitable for a new football stadium. ANYWHERE! bigfatlad
  • Score: 0

5:39am Wed 20 Aug 14

mark@greenhill says...

bigfatlad wrote:
I actually cannot think of ANYWHERE in Weymouth suitable for a new football stadium. ANYWHERE!
I would suggest Portland
[quote][p][bold]bigfatlad[/bold] wrote: I actually cannot think of ANYWHERE in Weymouth suitable for a new football stadium. ANYWHERE![/p][/quote]I would suggest Portland mark@greenhill
  • Score: -6

7:48am Wed 20 Aug 14

Simesen says...

Great news! It was a thouroughly bad idea anyway, the only reason seemed to be to earn money from residential development on the existing site.
Great news! It was a thouroughly bad idea anyway, the only reason seemed to be to earn money from residential development on the existing site. Simesen
  • Score: 5

9:15am Wed 20 Aug 14

Douglas Mc says...

Can't see why W&PBC would want to sell the land cheap for the Stadium. If the land can be developed greater value to W&P from other uses probably.
Can't see why W&PBC would want to sell the land cheap for the Stadium. If the land can be developed greater value to W&P from other uses probably. Douglas Mc
  • Score: 1

1:01pm Wed 20 Aug 14

jjlad2 says...

bigfatlad wrote:
I actually cannot think of ANYWHERE in Weymouth suitable for a new football stadium. ANYWHERE!
I can, The land Weymouth Rugby club occupy, enough for a stadium, parking right next door (park and ride) never ever been utalised to its full potential, and you could even open up Radipole Halt railway station with a bit of repair/rebuild. its not difficult!
[quote][p][bold]bigfatlad[/bold] wrote: I actually cannot think of ANYWHERE in Weymouth suitable for a new football stadium. ANYWHERE![/p][/quote]I can, The land Weymouth Rugby club occupy, enough for a stadium, parking right next door (park and ride) never ever been utalised to its full potential, and you could even open up Radipole Halt railway station with a bit of repair/rebuild. its not difficult! jjlad2
  • Score: 5

2:13pm Wed 20 Aug 14

sunny1966 says...

Come on its obvious the "Back Hander Was not big enough for Christine James and her cronnies from the council. The sooner we get rid of this council the better, you all vote for them !!!! stop doing it. Come on UKIP
Come on its obvious the "Back Hander Was not big enough for Christine James and her cronnies from the council. The sooner we get rid of this council the better, you all vote for them !!!! stop doing it. Come on UKIP sunny1966
  • Score: -5

6:28pm Wed 20 Aug 14

firelighter says...

This is good news. Let's face it, this was a ridiculous scheme created by money grabbing developers. WFC should only go for what they want and need, not the first sparkly thing that comes along. Shaun Hennessy has this right. 7 day a week income generation. WFC went downhill from the day they lost the Terra Cotta Club at The Rec. They need similar add on income stream opportunities such as function rooms.
This is good news. Let's face it, this was a ridiculous scheme created by money grabbing developers. WFC should only go for what they want and need, not the first sparkly thing that comes along. Shaun Hennessy has this right. 7 day a week income generation. WFC went downhill from the day they lost the Terra Cotta Club at The Rec. They need similar add on income stream opportunities such as function rooms. firelighter
  • Score: 9

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