Football club's future to be 'secured' after Bristol Road development axed
PUBLISHED: 07:35 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 11 October 2019
A deal to 'achieve the ambitions' of Portishead Town Football Club is in the works after plans for housing and commercial development of the ground were scrapped.
Portishead Town Council, which owns the club's land in Bristol Road, has announced proposals presented to the previous administration to redevelop the club 'will not be taken forward'.
The plans - which proposed to relocate the first-team pitch and the clubhouse to allow for development - were tabled by the club in 2017, earning support from some councillors, who subsequently lost or forfeited their seats in May's election.
Several new pitches, a hockey field and a fishing lake were also proposed, but the new council has opted to go in a different direction, with a fresh lease agreement being developed to 'secure the club's future'.
Paul Gardner, chairman of the town council, told the Times the football club is a 'fantastic asset' to the town, with more than 1,000 registered members.
He said: "The club has the ambition to become a community club, which is the highest grade a club can be awarded.
"As the owner the land used by the club, the town council is fully supportive of the aims of the football club and has agreed to work in partnership to create a new long-term lease to secure the future of the club and allow it to unlock grant funding to help achieve its ambitions."
Cllr Gardner said any new plans for the club's development will be subject to public consultation.
He added: "The land owned by the council has covenants mandating it is used for sports and recreational purposes and the land is part of the greenbelt. These facts will underpin all plans for evolution of the club.
"Residents have expressed concerns over previous initial plans that were put together by a developer proposing the building of housing and commercial units on part of the site. We can confirm these plans will not be taken forward.
"Both parties look forward to working together to create a prosperous future for the club."
The Times contacted the football club for comment, but did not receive a reply before going to press.