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End of the road for football battlers

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

NEIGHBOURS of Ipswich Town who have been fighting against the building of the new North Stand have finally conceded defeat in their opposition to the work.

NEIGHBOURS of Ipswich Town who have been fighting against the building of the new North Stand have finally conceded defeat in their opposition to the work.

Rose Malster failed in a legal battle with Ipswich Borough Council after the Court of Appeal refused her leave to appeal and also refused her leave to refer the matter to European courts at a hearing on Wednesday.

Ms Malster, of Alderman Road, who lives just 50 metres from the Portman Road ground, had sought permission to appeal against a High Court ruling in August which backed Ipswich Borough Council's approval of a replacement North Stand.

Alderman Road resident David Cox, who has supported Ms Malster in her fight said the battle had taken its toll on everyone involved.

"We have no avenues left now, it has reached the second highest court in the land but we have no way to the House of Lords.

"Rose has borne the weight of responsibility, had the courage to take on the council and should be praised for taking the case on. People don't understand the size of the undertaking she took up," he said.

"She was not well enough to go to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, and I know she has been affected."

Mr Cox added that the fight was about human rights and how everybody including Ms Malster, has the right to enjoy their life.

He said some people have hurled abuse at Miss Malster because of her stance.

"If they lived here in this road their opinions would be different.

"It's virtually destroyed the community spirit of the street. No one is against redevelopment but it has been done with undue haste, they should have waited a bit longer," said Mr Cox.

"With the human rights laws in this country the courts are reluctant to implement it, they are afraid of starting a precedent.

"If people came down here would they want to live here? They say it is a significant development, it is, they say the Ipswich skyline will change forever, but living down here will never be the same again.

"We are their neighbours and they should consider us a more."

Ipswich Borough Council granted planning consent to the football club in May to demolish its old North Stand, which seated 3,363 people and replace it with a two-tier stand, which will hold 7,035.

Ms Malster said the new stand would have a severe impact on the light reaching houses in the area, including her own, and the increased capacity would lead to greater noise.

She argued the borough council had failed properly to comply with its obligations, under European rules, to conduct an environmental impact assessment before granting permission.

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