Land row rears its head again

A POTENTIAL land development which has long divided a town's football club and church communities is set to be put under the spotlight once again.Stowmarket Town Football Club's future is being threatened by uncertainty surrounding the potential development of its home ground.

A POTENTIAL land development which has long divided a town's football club and church communities is set to be put under the spotlight once again.

Stowmarket Town Football Club's future is being threatened by uncertainty surrounding the potential development of its home ground.

Stowmarket Church Charity wants to build new homes on land it owns at the Greens Meadow base, Bury Road, and has submitted a bid for inclusion in the local development framework - set to be completed by the end of the year.

The football club's long-term future is lying in the balance until a decision is made.

Now, after years of uncertainty, the great and good of the town are set be given the full story by representatives from the church.

A spokesman for the church commissioners will talk at a town forum meeting on Tuesday at Abbots Hall, at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Crowe Street.

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The forum is attended by leading community figures, including councillors and business leaders.

The football club has been leasing the land from the church charity and Mid Suffolk District Council since 1983, but the agreement expires in 12 years.

The club wants to secure a longer lease on the land so the club can move forward.

Andy Horrix, club chairman, said: “We had a formal meeting with the church people during the closed season but it was really just a formality, we are no further forward.

“Nothing has been solved or moved on.

“We know nothing will physically happen until at least 2007 but other than that it's still a waiting game.

“I'll be interested to hear what is said at the forum.”

The church charity has said it plans to build on the current car park and clubhouse, not include the football pitch, and doesn't intend to stop the teams being able to play football.

It says because neighbouring land next door has been developed for new homes, it hopes there is potential for more development in the area.

Do you think the land should be developed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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