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City's stadium bid has residents fuming

Worcester Editorial 14th May, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

ANGRY residents have hit out against Worcester City’s proposed stadium at Perdiswell because of concerns over traffic congestion and a loss of parkland.

The Skrill Conference North club has already submitted plans to build a new community stadium at the Bilford Road site but it has been met with acrimony from some homeowners, who have collected a 600-name petition and set up the ‘Protect Perdiswell Park’ Facebook group in protest of the move.

Building on green land, an increase in the number of vehicles and a lack of information have all been highlighted as the main issues with the development which will include a 4,130 capacity stadium, one main seater stand and a standing terrace, a 3G pitch, three full size grass pitches, two nine aside grass pitches and conference and classroom facilities.

Jason Marshall, creator of ‘Protect Perdiswell Park’, said: “If the council and the people can do anything to bring the club back it should be done, but I draw the line at giving them a greenfield site.

“It shouldn’t be for the local community to give up their park in order to help out the club and the supporters trust. It’s a terrible thing that’s happened to the club but it doesn’t mean any price should be paid.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but the answer shouldn’t be that we more intensively develop the city as it stands and we drastically reduce the amount of park land in our neighbourhood.”

Worcester City Supporters Trust handed the application into the city council on April 16, but proposals are currently on hold pending further information which needs to be commissioned.

Some city councillors are also unsure on the development, with Neil Laurenson, councillor for St Stephen, saying if concerns aren’t addressed he will be compelled to submit formal objections to any unsuitable development.

Liz Smith, city councillor for Claines, said she would not come to any conclusions until the plans were on show, but did admit it was ‘inconceivable’ the football club should remain without a stadium in Worcester.

The Blue and Whites have been without a home since their departure from St George’s Lane last summer and were forced to move to Kidderminster’s Aggborough ground for this year’s campaign.

Rob Crean, secretary at Worcester City Supporters’ Trust, said: “It’s frustrating people have decided to oppose this without actually seeing the plans.

“There’s many of the questions being raised now which are covered in the plans so I think if people had waited to see them fully submitted it would have answered a lot of questions.

“We feel we’ve got a good case for the benefits of the city and the community.”

The supporters trust currently has more than 1,200 signatures on a petition in favour of the move.

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