Cambridgeshire

Cambridge City FC's plans for new ground backed by council

Artist's impression of Cambridge City FC at Sawston Image copyright KWA Architects Ltd
Image caption Cambridge City FC's new stadium will be built on greenbelt land in Sawston

A non-league football club is to get its own ground after a four-year planning wrangle.

Planners at South Cambridgeshire District Council approved a new home for Cambridge City FC at the second attempt.

A 3,000-capacity stadium and two pitches will now be built on a former landfill site at Sawston, just south of Cambridge.

The decision will go before the Secretary of State.

The Southern League Division One side has been without a permanent home for four years, after its Milton Road ground was sold in 2014 for housing.

The Sawston project was first approved by the council that year, but became the subject of a judicial review after a last-minute appeal.

Image copyright KWA Architects Ltd
Image caption The site will include a main pitch with stand, training pitch and car parking

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Meghan Bonner, planning consultant with KWA Architects, told the planning meeting that the village of Sawston was the "most sustainable location" - after no suitable site could be found for the club within the city boundary.

More than three hectares of land would also be "gifted" to the parish for recreational use, she told councillors.

"It will make a huge difference to the club to have a permanent home and I think it will be really well supported by the local community," she said.

As well as the stadium, the development will include a floodlit pitch, full-sized training pitch and parking spaces for 500 vehicles.

Image caption Members of Cambridge City FC attended the meeting and were 'delighted' with the outcome

Club president Len Satchell, who bought the land four years ago, said the decision had been "a long while coming".

"We've worked hard for it - it's cost a fortune," he said. "I admit I almost gave up. It's nice to get our own place back."

Cambridge City FC manager and former player Robbie Nightingale added he was "ecstatic" at the decision.

"I was a fan of the club growing up," he said. "I was lucky enough to play in the last game at Milton Road and hopefully I'll be the first manager at the new ground.

"When you've got a group of people deciding the fate of a football club, it pulls the heartstrings. It's emotional."

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