Saltdean United football club is planning an overhaul

A FOOTBALL club wants a new grandstand, a new clubhouse and a new artificial turf pitch – but not everyone is enthusiastic about the plans.

Saltdean United Football Club would like additional seating and parking as well as new fences on the pitches at Saltdean Vale.

The existing East Stand would be replaced with a two-story clubhouse. It would have changing rooms and shops on the ground floor and a function room, bar, toilets and lounge on the first floor.

A new spectator stand with space for around 300 people and a total of around 900 seats is planned on the west side of the field. Parking spaces for 43 cars and 30 bicycles are planned.

Since the planning application was submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council, it has resulted in 77 letters of support and 18 objections.

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A report to the Council’s Planning Committee supports the program despite objections to concerns about traffic, more parking problems and the over-development of a semi-rural site.

One objector, whose details have been redacted on the council’s website, said: “Plans will include an expansion which, with cars and the planned increased use of the site, will make wider public access even more difficult.

“Double parked car areas and planned informal parking areas all have the potential to disrupt or block access to the bridleway.

“The new two-story clubhouse requires the removal of existing mature trees from a rural setting that already lacks such flora. A depletion of the existing cover and effects on the overall ecology cannot be allowed.”

Another objector, whose details were also redacted, said: “As residents very close to the football ground we already have problems with the sheer number of cars parked in that area when matches are played and people parked across from our driveway.

“As much as I support the local community, I oppose this proposal unless they intend to build a proper parking lot that can facilitate this development.”

Advocates welcomed the introduction of community facilities and disabled parking, and praised the design.

Saltdean United women’s football director Joe McTiffen said it was exciting for the club, adding: “As a club we have already achieved so much but we still have a long way to go.

“These facilities allow for better coverage of all women’s and girls’ teams, but also give us the opportunity to add more teams at a younger age.”

Club secretary Kate Brown said the application is a “legacy project” to create sports facilities and community spaces for the entire community.

She said: “Over the winter, teams train at various locations across Brighton. If we could get planning permission our teams could train at one location in Saltdean throughout the week.

“Receiving planning permission will be a major step forward for the club which will benefit our men’s, women’s and youth teams as well as our walking football members. It would also open up the facility to broader community groups.”

A decision is expected next week. The Council Planning Committee is due to meet on Wednesday (5 October) at 12.30pm in Hove Town Hall. The meeting will be webcast on the Council’s website. Saltdean United football club is planning an overhaul

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