Football expansion divides village

A VILLAGE football club's bid for a £1million expansion creating a new clubhouse and seven pitches is dividing a community.Stowupland Falcons' football club, a thriving group founded in 1974 with boys and girls youth teams and a veterans squad, hopes to embark on a major development at Rendall Lane in the village.

A VILLAGE football club's bid for a £1million expansion creating a new clubhouse and seven pitches is dividing a community.

Stowupland Falcons' football club, a thriving group founded in 1974 with boys and girls youth teams and a veterans squad, hopes to embark on a major development at Rendall Lane in the village.

The organisation, currently based behind the village hall with just a few pitches they share with others, wants to create the development on agricultural land.

The move would give the group a huge boost and would improve the sporting facilities available to youngsters and older players and a public meeting was held in Stowupland to debate the plans.

Andy Taylor, chairman of the club's youth section, said they have been speaking to a local farmer about acquiring about 16 acres and hope to secure funding from the Football Association and other organisations.

He said: “This will make a tremendous difference to the club. The youngsters love it. We know some people are worried but no-one has seen the plans yet.

Most Read

“We plan to put in trees and shrubs to shield the homes and will use the far end of the field so the noise is away from houses.

“There will also be car parks to keep the cars off road and if we play in higher leagues will need floodlighting, but at the moment will have just low level lighting for the training area away from homes.”

Keith Welham, vice chairman of Stowupland Parish Council, said: “There has been a bit of disquiet in the village about floodlighting and the number of cars using the lane. People worry about losing green fields.

“But the site is very nearly flat so very little would need to be done to start playing football there and I can see that the club needs to expand.

“Most of the current pitches belong to the high school, and one to the village hall, and it is a popular club. But the parish council really has to listen to the views of the village before individual councillors start giving their opinions.”

Jerry Voden, chairman of the parish council, said some residents were deeply unhappy about the proposals.

The Stowupland Falcons have not yet submitted a planning application to Mid Suffolk District Council and officials said the scheme would take three years before teams were playing on the land, and building the clubhouse could take longer.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter