Braintree Town Football Club are pleased to support the Planning Statement submitted for the proposed relocation site of the Club on land adjacent to Pod's Brook Road, to be known as The Flitch Way Settlement, to Braintree District Council this morning. The Statement has been submitted in response to the consultation phase initiated by the Council for their One District One Vision Strategy Document for the Development of the District through to 2025. The Football Club have been working with WG Developments for the past two years to deliver a new stadium for the Club, having previously successfully promoted and managed the construction and development for both Bishop's Stortford and Maldon Town football clubs.
First and foremost, Braintree Town Football Club is delighted that the relocation of the Club is now being proposed as part of Braintree District Council's One District One Vision Document.
Since 2003, the Football Club has maintained an on-going review of its facilities at Cressing Road. With the support of Braintree District Council over the past five years, we have been able to make the improvements necessary to allow us to be promoted from the Ryman League and to remain at our current position in the Football Conference, now just two steps away from The Football League. However, the Football Club are now faced with implementing a further series of improvements to meet the requirements of the Football Association's 'A' grading - required to allow us to progress and be promoted any further in the future.
Although it has been our home since 1923, we consider that our existing location is not suitable for what would then become a Football League graded ground. The Club are already aware that the access of hundreds of vehicles down narrow residential roads and the subsequent parking for our existing fixtures causes considerable inconvenience to the local area and, if we were to remain, we fear this will only increase in the future. Also, as well as seeking progress on the pitch, we also aspire, through our Football in the Community Scheme, to work in partnership with our community, to develop an inclusive range of sporting, educational and social opportunities, to improve the quality of life in our home town. To achieve this the Football Club wishes to further expand and improve its facilities.
The scale of redevelopment necessary to fulfil the Club's ambitions cannot be accommodated on our existing site and that is another reason why we have decided that relocation to a new site is the way forward. Braintree Town Football Club considers that The Flitch Way Settlement site is the best location for the relocated stadium on account of its location relative to Braintree town centre and the accessibility to the A120.
W G Developments and the Football Club have been working together for some time to ensure that the Football Club's needs are taken into account when developing the concept plan for this growth area. We have also listened to Braintree District Council, to the local residents and Rayne Parish Council. We are mindful of the Council's reservations about our site - the ability to deliver and coalescence with Rayne and we believe we have made significant progress on both. First we now have the support not just for the development of the land under Wayne Gold's control, but also the support of the adjacent land-owner. Second, our new plans include a substantial green buffer between the development, either side of the Flitch Way and the parish of Rayne.
In summary, the Football Club wish to play an active role in the development of the town that it is proud to represent, but we fear that we cannot progress any further at our existing location. The relocation of the Football Club will enable it to progress in the future and expand the sports facilities we provide and assist in shaping the future of sport and recreation in the District. We believe have addressed Braintree Council's concerns about our proposed side and now believe that the Flitchway Settlement site is the best site for a growth location including a new home for Braintree Town Football Club, and we support those proposals on this basis. We therefore hope that the Council reconsider its choice of growth location.
As part of the continuing Football Club consultation with supporters and our community, we will be holding a further public open evening at the Club on Tuesday, 13th January, starting at 7.30pm. Representatives of both the Football Club and W G Developments will be present. Additional information will be placed on the "New Stadium" link above.
Club Chairman Lee Harding said: "We are delighted with the support of Braintree District Council, who have included our relocation needs as part of their core strategy. We fully support the Planning Statement submitted by W G Developments and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Cressing Road for our next open evening on Tuesday, 13th January."