Nailsea Football Club dealt a blow

Nailsea Football Club dealt a blow

NAILSEA United Football Club has been dealt a blow after Nailsea councillors recommended refusing planning permission for its temporary changing rooms.

Five years ago the club installed three temporary changing units at The Grove Sports Centre so it could apply to compete in the Toolstation Western League and improve conditions for the club’s players and referees.

The application was granted for a period of five years, but the club has now submitted another application to keep the facilities on the site for a further five years.

Speaking at the council’s planning and environmental committee on Wednesday, councillor Mary Ponsonby said: “Temporary should be temporary and this was always a temporary planning application It’s an eyesore for everybody who walks around the Grove.

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“It’s a long period of time to have one of the beauty spots of Nailsea almost defaced by what’s happened here.”

Councillor Clare Hunt added: “We feel really sorry for the club as we want to help but giving in is going to be detrimental to other sections of our community who equally have rights to that land.”

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Nailsea United wants to compete in the Toolstation Western League, but to meet the criteria it must build a number of new facilities, including a clubhouse with six changing rooms, a floodlit first team pitch and a function room.

Bosses had hoped to build a new club at Gaulacre but their plans were put on hold last year when Sports Solutions GB told the club the �1.8million proposal is not currently feasible.

The club also looked into to developing its facilities at Grove Sports Centre, but planning permission for floodlights was refused.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the planning committee decided to recommend refusal of the application. The proposal will now go to North Somerset Council for a decision but Nailsea could still turn it down if it is approved as it owns the land.

Club Chairman, Spencer Lee, said: “Should we lose our changing rooms, it will be a massive blow to our club.

“Without them, all of our teams will be forced to change and shower in the Grove Sports Centre and this will mean that on match days 90 footballers will be changing in three small dressing rooms with only six shower heads, which is wholly inadequate.

“It is very hard for us to understand the town council’s decision since so many footballers in the town, of all ages and genders, greatly benefit from the changing rooms.

“As a town, we should surely all be trying to encourage wider participation in organised sport and not throttling it.”

Nailsea councillors stressed they were keen to continue working with the club to help it find a suitable site for a new ground.

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