Cambridge United ‘flabbergasted’ by opposition to new community stadium
Cambridge United and developers Grosvenor have vowed to fight on with plans for a new community stadium after being “flabbergasted” at their rejection by local authorities.
Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett has said failure to receive council backing for a proposed stadium is “not the end of the road”.
South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council planners have recommended all nine sites consulted on for a proposed sporting village, which would also feature an indoor sports hall, hockey and five-a-side football pitches as well as an 8,000-capacity ground for United, be ruled out.
Campaigners are battling plans for a new community stadium south of Cambridge with united opposition amid fears about the impact on Grantchester Meadows. Four residents’ associations and two parish councils have signed a letter which warns construction of an 8,000-seater ground for Cambridge United plus 400 homes near Trumpington would be a disaster. They are concerned about the loss of green belt land and the merging of the city with nearby villages, plus traffic and parking.
Signatories include the chairmen of Grantchester and Haslingfield parish councils, alongside Trumpington Residents’ Association, Southacre, Latham and Chaucer Residents’ Association, Bentley and Newtown Roads Residents’ Association, and Newtown Residents’ Association.
The Abbey Stadium, on Newmarket Road, is owned by the international property developer Grosvenor Homes, which wishes to redevelop it for houses. They will still push ahead with a planning application for the stadium at Trumpington. Ed Skeates, Grosvenor projects director, said: “We were going to put an application in some time ago, but were asked to hold back and follow the due process and this is where we’ve got to. This is just a recommendation, so we’ll go along to the next couple of meetings and hopefully, we’ll get to a slightly wider view once we’ve heard the debate. We need to unpick this because the position they’ve taken doesn’t feel quite right, so we’ll see what happens, but we’re ready to go with an application, that’s for sure.”