Stoke & Staffordshire

Judicial review plans over FA National Football Centre

The National Football Centre site in Burton
Image caption Parish councils said they were worried about traffic and power supply issues to do with the site

Development of the National Football Centre in Staffordshire could be held up by a judicial review, a former Burton Albion FC director has said.

East Staffordshire Borough Council approved plans on 17 May for the Football Association's (FA) £100m training pitches near Burton-on-Trent.

Ex-Burton Albion director Ian English said he was going to challenge the legal basis for the planning approval.

But he said he could not disclose the reasons yet for wanting a review.

'Commercialisation' fears

Plans for the site in Byrkley Park, Rangemoor, near Burton-on-Trent, include indoor and outdoor training pitches for the England football team, a hotel and conference centre, plus 28 homes.

The FA was first given planning permission for training pitches in February 2001, but resubmitted its application to include other buildings to help fund the project.

At the planning meeting in May, some residents said they were opposed to the development of the hotel and homes, although councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans.

Tatenhill parish councillor Diane Milner told the meeting: "I am worried about the commercialisation of the site, which is not essential for the football centre."

Traffic concerns

She said the hotel and conference centre should be built in Burton-on-Trent and not in green fields.

A football pitch already exists on the site.

In a joint statement, issued after the meeting, the parish councils of Barton Under Needwood, Tatenhill and Dunstall said concerns had been raised about the development by their rural communities.

"Issues raised by us at the borough council's planning committee meeting include traffic on our rural roads, transport provision and the potential route of a power supply to the site."

A spokesman for the FA said: "We have a valid planning permission. This action is a matter between, as we understand it, a local resident and the local authority.

"The FA will, of course, assist the local authority by supplying any information it may require in its response to the local resident."

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