News archive

News archive

Who owns the stand? 13/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 22:51:08
The supporters stand at Faraday Road was bought by chairman Martin Deaner and installed by Arena Seating for Newbury Town FC who folded in 1995.
AFC Newbury used it 1996-2007 while they rented the ground from WBC.
Newbury FC used it 2008-2018 while they rented the ground from WBC.
Did either of these clubs actually buy the stand?
West Berks Council has owned the ground on behalf of its constituents all this time.
So WBC owns it, right? (Newbury Town Council thinks WBC does, but WBC CEO Nick Carter says Newbury FC does)
On 3 occasions WBC has acquired the ground and its assets when tenants have left, the latest on 24 June 2018 when NFC was evicted.
Can WBC sell it?
Can NFC sell it?
Not easily; it's protected as part of WBC's Asset of Community Value (ACV) submitted by NCFG, but NCFG doesn't own it.
WBC has also stated they have no plans to demolish any part of the ground, yet.
Nor have they ever mentioned that NFC owns it.
It's a massive permanent structure and hardly portable!
NCFG objects to its hasty dismantling and Sport England supports this objection.
A bit of a problem for Hungerford Town FC who understandably want to acquire it!
Newbury Weekly News is seeking answers...









Follow-up letters to councillors after poor response 11/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 22:24:11
To WBC:

Subject: What’s the fuss about - Newbury doesn’t need a football ground – does it?

Following the email / letter that I sent to you individually last week I am disappointed to advise you that out of the 52 invitations sent out I have so far received only 8 replies. 2 Councillors have accepted and 6 have declined.

I am aware that there is a briefing at West Berks Council regarding the local lottery that starts at 5.30pm and this may be a reason why you feel that you cannot attend, but this does not explain why 44 Councillors have not responded (so far) at all to the invitation that I sent out a week ago now. It maybe that I will receive a lot more responses over the next few days but as stated in my email below this is a really important local issue that deserves and demands time for a detailed discussion.

In order to help with your diary management can I suggest that we bring forward the “Councillors pre -public consultation discussion” from 5.00pm to 4.45pm this Thursday as it would allow you time to attend this discussion (for 30 minutes) and also allow you to get to the 5.30pm local lottery session, which is a 5 minute walk away?

Due to the strength of public opinion we are genuinely surprised that it would appear that our Councillors do not seem interested in attending a meeting to discuss the key points and to listen to the evidence that makes this such a crucial and important local issue. The importance of this local issue is illustrated by the fact that within only a week over 1500 (1200 online and 300 paper) have signed our petition supporting the NCFG planning application. Details of this petition can be found on our website: http://www.ncfg.uk/ please take a look.

I look forward to your reply.

Paul Morgan

On behalf of Newbury Community Football Group (NCFG)



To NTC:

Subject: What’s the fuss about - Newbury doesn’t need a football ground – does it?

Following the email / letter that I sent to you individually last week I am disappointed to advise you that out of the 14 invitations that I sent to Newbury Town Councillors (who are not West Berkshire Councillors) I have so far received only 2 replies. 1 Councillor has accepted and 1 has declined.

I am aware that there is a briefing at West Berks Council regarding the local lottery that starts at 5.30pm and this may be a reason why you feel that you cannot attend, but this does not explain why 12 Councillors have not responded (so far) at all to the invitation that I sent out a week ago now. It maybe that I will receive a more responses over the next few days but as stated in my email below this is a really important local issue that deserves and demands time for a detailed discussion.

In order to help with your diary management can I suggest that we bring forward the “Councillors pre -public consultation discussion” from 5.00pm to 4.45pm this Thursday as it would allow you time to attend this discussion (for 30 minutes) and also allow you to get to the 5.30pm local lottery session, which is a 5 minute walk away?

Due to the strength of public opinion we are genuinely surprised that it would appear that our Councillors do not seem interested in attending a meeting to discuss the key points and to listen to the evidence that makes this such a crucial and important local issue. The importance of this local issue is illustrated by the fact that within only a week over 1500 (1200 online and 300 paper) have signed our petition supporting the NCFG planning application. Details of this petition can be found on our website: http://www.ncfg.uk/ please take a look.

I look forward to your reply.

Paul Morgan

On behalf of Newbury Community Football Group (NCFG)



Support from Sport England 10/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 22:19:42
3 letters from SE to WBC planning:

1.

From: Bob Sharples
Sent: 10 September 2018 11:33
To: 'planapps@westberks.gov.uk' <planapps@westberks.gov.uk>
Subject: App Ref: 18/02046/DEMO - Faraday Road Stadium - Sport England Ref: PA/18/SE/WB/50029

FAO J Singh Esq.

Dear Jay,

Thank you for consulting Sport England on the above application.

Sport England – Statutory Role and Policy

It is understood that the proposal prejudices the use, or leads to the loss of use, of land being used as a playing field or has been used as a playing field in the last five years, as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 595). The consultation with Sport England is therefore a statutory requirement.

Sport England has considered the application in light of the National Planning Policy Framework (particularly Para 97) and Sport England’s Playing Fields Policy, which is presented within its ‘Playing Fields Policy and Guidance Document’: www.sportengland.org/playingfieldspolicy

Sport England’s policy is to oppose the granting of planning permission for any development which would lead to the loss of, or prejudice the use of, all/part of a playing field, unless one or more of the five exceptions stated in its policy apply.

The Proposal and Impact on Playing Field

This an application for prior notification for demolition of spectator stand.

Assessment against Sport England Policy/NPPF

Without the stand, football cannot be played on this site at the level it is currently able to be played, therefore the application prejudices the use of the playing field.

I am also concerned that the applicants have not linked this application to applications 18/00604/OUT and 18/00603/COMIND, which deal with the redevelopment of the whole site. I would draw your attention in particular to our responses to both these previous applications (which I have attached) where we require that details of the re-provision of the facilities are submitted prior to any redevelopment of the site.

Conclusion

In light of the above, Sport England objects to the application because it is not considered to accord with any of the exceptions to Sport England’s Playing Fields Policy or with Paragraph 97 of the NPPF.

Should the local planning authority be minded to grant planning permission for the proposal, contrary to Sport England’s objection then in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009, the application should be referred to the Secretary of State, via the National Planning Casework Unit.

If this application is to be presented to a Planning Committee, we would like to be notified in advance of the publication of any committee agendas, report(s) and committee date(s). We would be grateful if you would advise us of the outcome of the application by sending us a copy of the decision notice.

To overcome our objection, this application should be linked/make reference to planning applications 18/00604/OUT and 18/00603/COMIND and have the same conditions about details of the replacement provision attached to the permission.

If you would like any further information or advice please contact me at the address below

Yours sincerely,

Bob

Bob Sharples RIBA MRTPI
Principal Planning Manager - South Planning Team

T: 07830 315030
M: 07830315030
F: 01509 233 192
E: Bob.Sharples@sportengland.org


2.

FAO J Singh Esq.

Dear Jay,

Thank you for consulting Sport England on the above named application.

It is understood that the proposal prejudices the use, or leads to the loss of use, of land being used as a playing field or has been used as a playing field in the last five years, as defined in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 595). The consultation with Sport England is therefore a statutory requirement.

Sport England has considered the application in light of the National Planning Policy Framework (in particular Para. 97), and against its own playing fields policy, which states:

'Sport England will oppose the granting of planning permission for any development which would lead to the loss of, or would prejudice the use of:

all or any part of a playing field, or

  • land which has been used as a playing field and remains undeveloped, or
  • land allocated for use as a playing field

unless, in the judgement of Sport England, the development as a whole meets with one or more of five specific exceptions.'

Sport England's Playing Fields Policy and Guidance document can be viewed via the below link:

www.sportengland.org/playingfieldspolicy

This is an outline planning application follows the application submitted in April this year for the renewal and expansion of existing football pitch including artificial pitches, application number 18/00603/COMIND, which is currently awaiting a decision.

What is being applied for in this application is outline consent for the replacement of clubhouse and stand at Newbury Football Ground. Matters to be considered: Access and Layout.

The Football Association and the Football Foundation are supportive of this proposal.

Having assessed the application, Sport England is satisfied that the proposed development should meet exception 2 of our playing fields policy, in that:

'The proposed development is for ancillary facilities supporting the principal use of the site as a playing field, and does not affect the quantity or quality of playing pitches or otherwise adversely affect their use.'

As the proposal is an outline application there are insufficient details to ensure that the clubhouse meets the standards required by the football league. This can be addressed by a suitable condition to ensure the design and layout are acceptable, in order to meet our planning policy exception E2. This would remove any doubt.

However, this application cannot be implemented without 18/00603/COMIND being implemented. While this may seem common sense, it is the view of the Football Association, the Football Foundation and Sport England that there needs to be a condition to ensure that neither application can be implemented independently. This is in line with condition 2 which my colleague Vicky Aston recommended in her response to 18/00603/COMIND on the 10th May 2018.

Given the above assessment, Sport England does not wish to raise an objection to this application subject to the following conditions:

  1. No development shall commence until further details of the design and layout of the clubhouse and stand have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority after consultation with Sport England. The pitches shall not be constructed other than in accordance with the approved details.

Reason: To ensure the development is fit for purpose and sustainable and to accord with Development Plan Policy **.

  1. No development shall commence until details for the phasing of the development, including the re-provision of the new full-size 3G Artificial Grass Pitch, a junior pitch and 2 mini pitches, have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority after consultation with Sport England. The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out other than in accordance with the approved details.

Reason: To ensure the satisfactory quantity, quality and accessibility of the ancillary facilities (clubhouse and stand) which secures a continuity of use and to accord with Development Plan Policy **.

The absence of an objection to this application, in the context of the Town and Country Planning Act, cannot be taken as formal support or consent from Sport England or any National Governing Body of Sport to any related funding application, or as may be required by virtue of any pre-existing funding agreement.

If you would like any further information or advice please contact the undersigned at the address below.

Yours sincerely,

Bob

Bob Sharples RIBA MRTPI

Principal Planning Manager - South Planning Team

T: 07830 315030
M: 07830315030
F: 01509 233 192
E: Bob.Sharples@sportengland.org


3.



NTC planning applications outcomes 10/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 22:03:35
Newbury Town Council Planning Meeting Monday 10th September 2018

NCFG's objection to the demolition of the stand at Faraday Road was not supported by the councillors on a narrow vote :(

However...

Application for new buidings & car park for NCFG's 3G developments at the ground were widely supported! :)

Newbury Ladies support for 3G planning application 10/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 21:59:00
Letter of support for NCFG's stadium plans from Newbury Ladies Manager Sue Hewett, read out at the Newbury Town Council Planning & Highways meeting 10/09/18:


Introduction to Newbury Ladies FC

1. Firstly, I would like to thank you for having me here today and for allowing me to have a couple of minutes of your time to address you.

2. My name is Sue Hewett and I am the First Team Manager of Newbury Ladies Football Club.

3. This is something that I have been doing for the last 7 years and before that, I was a player for Newbury Ladies for the previous 7 years.

4. Our football club is a successful, long established team. We’ve been in existence since 2003.

5. Our First Team plays at a high level in the Women’s game, against teams like Southampton and AFC Bournemouth – we also compete every year in the Women’s F.A. Cup.

6. We currently run 2 adult female teams, with participation starting at the age of 16.

7. We currently have a total of 38 players.

8. We could easily run more teams for both women and girls – in fact we would love to expand and start teams for girls in the younger age groups under the Newbury Ladies Football Club umbrella – but a lack of good facilities prevents this.

9. The biggest drop-out rates for Youth Football is by 16-18 year olds – and this is a really vulnerable age group.

10. Our Ladies teams currently play our home matches on the Donnington Recreation Ground, which is good – BUT we can’t train there in the winter evenings, as there are no floodlights – and in the poorer weather conditions in the winter we do find that games get called off and postponed – because it has only one grass pitch.

11. Also, we’re not allowed to play our FA Cup games at Donnington because we need a larger pitch – it needs to be full size – the pitch dimensions required in order to enter the FA Cup competition must be a minimum of 100 metres in length and 64 metres wide – and the pitch at Donnington is 10 metres too short, otherwise we’d be extending into the cricket square, which we can’t do.

12. So, as a Football Club, we’ve had to be very nomadic when it comes to the FA Cup. We’ve had some really terrific Cup ties in recent seasons, but sadly we can’t play those matches at Donnington – nor in the actual town of Newbury that we are representing.

13. This is such a shame for our players because we are playing in a national high profile competition, such as the FA Cup, which has its final at Wembley and yet we cannot currently play those important games in Newbury.

14. If we are given a home tie in this season’s FA Cup then we will travel to Lambourn Football Club, who are very kindly allowing us to play there.

15. This problem of finding a suitable pitch and facilities will get worse for us if we are fortunate enough to be promoted in the future, as higher leagues require better facilities – the current Faraday Road ground has these – it has for example the good standard changing rooms, adequate showers, a covered area for supporters, etc.

16. And when it comes to midweek evening training in the winter months, we had been able to hire just a third of a pitch at Park House School for the last 2 seasons, but this slot hasn’t been made available to us for the coming season – so currently we haven’t been able to secure a winter training venue – this is a real headache for us – in fact it’s a real worry for me personally – as without proper training during the week, our players won’t be able to keep improving as they have been.

17. The problem is, there is a real shortage of quality pitches in the area generally – but especially 3G pitches for training and playing matches.

18. So why is 3G so important?

19. The Football Association conducted a recent survey of West Berkshire and it highlighted that the area was actually 4 full size 3G pitches short to meet the demand of the West Berks community.

20. A 3G pitch is an artificial pitch that can be used over 10 times more a week than a grass pitch.

21. Third generation or 3G artificial grass pitches are recognised as durable, safe, year-round playing surfaces, able to withstand intensive use and all kinds of weather.

22. They mean more people can benefit from all the associated positive social and health impacts of participating in regular physical activity.

23. The FA extol the benefits of 3G for wider use in the grassroots football community – their Report says: “They are a very useful asset and capable of delivering 50 plus hours per week as compared to a natural turf pitch which can deliver perhaps five hours per week.

24. The FA chairman has vowed to deliver a “radical new approach” to grassroots football that would reverse years of neglect of shabby, waterlogged municipal facilities by investing heavily in new 3G pitches and overhauling its approach to youth coaching.

25. Newbury is home to over 45,000 people and it is set to grow by about 6,000 over the next 10 years.

26. All of the evidence concludes that sporting facilities are indisputably essential to maintaining a healthy community.

27. So, what we need – is the same type of facilities as the current Faraday Road Ground has – but a 3G pitch – not grass.

28. Thank you again for your time this evening.



Support from Newbury Society 07/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 21:38:11

18 00604 OUT
Outline permission for Replacement of clubhouse and stand at Newbury

Football Ground
Matters to be considered: Access and Layout.
Newbury Football Club Faraday Road Newbury Berkshire RG14 2AD

We appreciate that Newbury Football Club (AFC Newbury) is not in a position on its own to turn this application into reality, but we believe it and its sister application for the pitches raise a serious issue.

West Berkshire Council has been preparing plans for the London Road Industrial Estate (i.e. Faraday Road area, which includes this site) for years now, but so far their plans have not gone out for consultation; and there has been no opportunity for public input.

Following the issues with the Market Street “gateway” development (towards which the council is contributing multi-million-pound assets, with – as some would say - little obvious gain for the town of Newbury), we need to see a clear gain for Newbury in the LRIE redevelopment. It should not be a purely commercial redevelopment, but must include community facilities – facilities catering for the town as a whole, and not just catering for new on-site residents.

One such community facility could be a sports area, including an up-to-date, properly-planned, football ground. Newbury as a town is large enough and wealthy enough to expect such a facility, and it would be a perfect partner for this development. The health and wellbeing of Newbury is key and sport plays a key part in the well-being of residents. And after all, it was Newbury ratepayers who paid for the purchase of this site, not council tax payers from West Berkshire as a whole

It is given these circumstances that we support this application. We are responding to this as an outline application, for a replacement clubhouse and stand, accompanying the application for more pitches. We accept that further work will be needed on the detail; and we are not making any current assumptions about the ownership or occupation of such a ground.

Given the economic circumstances in which local authorities are placed, the prospect for land purchase is severely limited. West Berkshire Council must make sure that its plans for the LRIE genuinely represent the needs of its residents, and in particular the residents of Newbury.

David Peacock
Newbury Society
September 1, 2018



1000 petition signatures! 07/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 21:14:12
We have a thousand supporters after five days!

Newbury Ladies looking for a home ground 07/09/18

NewsPosted by NCFG Info Wed, September 12, 2018 21:12:17
Newbury Weekly News / Newbury Today article from 07/09/18

https://www.newburytoday.co.uk/news/sport/25335/newbury-ladies-seeking-a-home-of-their-own.html

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