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Terras object to Wessex Delivery Partnership's plans
THE Terras would prefer to stay at the Bob Lucas Stadium but would consider relocation if a more viable option was put to them.
Vice-chairman Mark Coleman revealed the club’s position after Weymouth FC formally objected to Wessex Delivery Partnership’s latest proposal to move the club to Lodmoor and build up to 200 residences on the current site at Radipole Lane.
WDP, which is in partnership with developers Morgan Sindall, has an option to acquire the Bob Lucas Stadium in exchange for providing a new stadium within five miles of the current ground; to be at a build cost of £7million plus grants; and to be built to Football League standard.
WDP can exercise that option up to 15 years from the date of the agreement in 2008.
Coleman told Echosport: “We have formally objected to the latest proposals but we are confident there is a deal to be done that can be positive for all parties.
“We have held some encouraging meetings with Morgan Sindall, who have been listening to the issues we have raised, and further talks are scheduled for later this month.”
It is still Morgan Sindall’s intention to develop the Bob Lucas Stadium site but the Terras feel WDP’s proposed new stadium at Lodmoor, between the beach car park and civic amenities site, is unsuitable due to environmental concerns and its susceptibility to flooding.
Club officials are also aware that both West Dorset & District Council and Weymouth & Portland Bor-ough Council are both making adequate provisions to meet housing needs on far more sustainable and appropriate sites, without taking historical leisure and recreational land like that of the Terras’ current home at Radipole Lane.
Despite WFC’s preference to stay where they are though, Coleman has not completely discounted the possibility of relocation.
He added: “We are opposed to the Lodmoor site in every way but if they came up with something fantastic in the right area we would, of course, look at it again.
“We are not saying we want to stay at Radipole Lane just for the sake of it.
“All we want is a bit of a legacy to hand over to the town for the future and we don’t believe that can be delivered at Lodmoor.”
When asked what the club’s ideal legacy would be, Coleman went on to say: “What we would like to see is the current site become a Chickerell-based community sports stadium that can offer improved facilities like 3G pitches for what is a growing area of the town.
“We are a community club at the end of the day and we want to see kids out here playing football, cricket, netball and a host of other sports every single night, and we want Morgan Sindall to be a part of that.
“Whether that means we will need something out the front to help pay for it, like a chain restaurant or something, then so be it.
“The main thing is that we have something sustainable that can bring in income every day.”
In WDP’s latest set of plans it claims, following a condition survey carried out in 2010, the current stadium needs £500,000 worth of repairs spending on it, and a further £300,000 over a period of five years at best.
Responding to those estimations, Coleman said: “The current stadium just needs a little bit of care.
“It is fit for purpose although it does need maintenance which the board has got a budget for.
“It certainly doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on it and we have got plenty of volunteers here that are doing an incredible job at the moment and are happy to help with any repairs.”