AVELEY Football Club have unveiled exciting proposals for a new community-centred stadium.
Located in Belhus Park, the ground will feature a 3G all-weather pitch overlooked by a modern stand and clubhouse, with one full-sized and floodlit training pitch and two junior pitches for the club’s 17 youth sides.
The ground will be for use by the whole community, including other football clubs.
It is hoped the plans will be lodged with Thurrock Council’s planning committee in the next couple of weeks and it is hoped the ground can be completed in time for the start of the 2015/2016 season.
The work will be funded by the sale of the club’s current home ground, Mill Field, in Mill Road, Aveley.
Craig Johnson, club secretary, said: “We are excited about these plans. There’s a good buzz.
“The manager and players have seen them and were pleased. But I won’t get too excited until the council give it the go-ahead.”
Last season’s wet winter period caused several of the club’s home games to be postponed, causing a backlog of fixtures.
But by installing an all-weather, articficial turf pitch that problem could be avoided.
The key aim, however, is to enable community use all year round.
The stadium proposals are being developed by the club with Sports Solutions and Elev8 and at this stage, they are just proposals rather than set-in-stone plans.
Mr Johnson said: “No set date is fixed for planning, but we hope to go to them shortly.
“The move will be funded by the sale of Mill Field. We’ve got developers queuing up to buy the ground and have had for years.
“It’s never been a question of selling it. The issue has been finding a location.”
The four pitches and swanky new clubhouse, which will have “all the mod-cons”, will be located on part of Belhus Park, a stone’s throw from the club’s current ground.
The entrance will be just before waste land off the Aveley bypass.
Mr Johnson added: “The ground will be built and ready before we move out of Mill Field. This is about sustainabilty.
“It secures Aveley Football Club’s life in the long and medium term, as opposed to us having to constantly repair Mill Field. It will provide us with a base going forward.”