Moreton Hall: Residents back plans for �2 million football stadium

RESIDENTS have welcomed changes to plans for a �2 million football stadium in the heart of a growing estate in west Suffolk.

Plans for a new community football project in Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds sparked concerns over match-day congestion, late-night noise and parking problems when designs were unveiled last year.

Objectors feared the new 500-seat stadium had inadequate parking and voiced worries fans would use nearby streets as an overflow car park.

But planners for the scheme have now drafted new plans, which include an extra 83 parking spaces at the ground, to include two coach spaces and eight disabled parking bays.

Mike Bacon, chairman of the Moreton Hall Residents Association, said: “We are fully behind the changes.

“Residents have always been in favour of the scheme, it was the fine detail we objected to.

“On the whole, I think we are all very happy with the project and the community is pretty much behind it.”

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The new facility is set to become a new home for Bury Town Football Club, which has outgrown its current site in the town centre.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is working with Suffolk Football Association and the Football Foundation to move the club from its location at Ram Meadow, which needs a �750,000 upgrade to meet modern standards.

The new 11-acre project is set to include a 500-seat stadium, two artificial floodlit pitches as well as two training pitches and a new club house with changing facilities, a function room, board room and office as well as a bar area and teaching facility.

Following a public consultation into the scheme in September, residents had also raised safety concerns over the planned access to the site via Lady Miriam Way, which some feared would create a bottleneck of traffic on match days.

But the plans have now been altered to include improved access to the site via a roundabout junction.

“We feel the new junction is absolutely right as it will take the pressure off Lady Miriam Way and I am sure it will be a lot better,” Mr Bacon said.

“We suspected there would be traffic gridlock up there and it would cause a lot of grief.”

The possibility of nearby businesses’ car parks being used in a temporary park and ride scheme is also being investigated.

“We are very pleased with the way the planners have approached the football project,” Mr Bacon said.

“It is very positive and we are pleased the council is prepared to talk to us, listen to us and seriously consult.”

The revised planning application is available to view online at the borough council’s website;