A DECISION is set to be made on Aveley FC’s plans for a new ground.
The Ryman Division One North club’s proposals for a community ground with 3G pitch and stand for 250 spectators on land at Belhus Park, will be discussed and debated by Thurrock Council’s planning committee next week.
But the plans face stiff opposition from the Thurrock Model Flying Club and from Thurrock Sports Council, who both object to the proposals which could leave the flying club homeless.
A decision will also be made on a separate but linked proposal to build 114 new homes on Aveley’s current Mill Field ground.
Both applications are recommended for approval by officers - but on the condition that a new home is found for the flying club.
Aveley FC’s plans consist of four pitches, including a floodlit 3G surface for the first team - similar to those played on by Harlow Town and Maidstone United - a second floodlit, senior-sized grass pitch and two junior pitches.
The plans also include a clubhouse, 190 space car park and covered stand able to accommodate 250 spectators.
Within the clubhouse will be changing rooms, a function room, members bar, board room and ancillary offices, store rooms, toilets and a kitchen.
The development would be built on a parcel of green belt land at Belhus Park, just off Park Lane and to the north of the Aveley bypass.
But this land has been used by the Thurrock Model Flying Club for the last 30 years. They still use the land and in line with Civil Aviation Authority rules would be unable to fly aircraft in the area, should the football club’s plans be given the go-ahead.
As a result, Thurrock Sports Council objects to the plans. A statement from the body read: “There has been no investment in sports facilities in the borough in over 25 years.
"There are adequate football facilities for hire throughout the borough; Aveley FC is a private club so why is it being allowed to take over a site where another sporting facility is taking place?”
A view of how the clubhouse, stand and 3G pitch could look
If the planning committee approve the plans, they will need to be signed off by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Meanwhile, Aveley FC hopes it will also get the nod to demolish its current ground and build 15 one-bedroom flats, nine two-bedroom flats, 37 two-bedroom houses and 53 three-bedroom houses.
Next week’s planning meeting starts at 7pm in the council chamber at Civic Offices, New Road, Grays.