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Perdiswell stadium plans give City supporters fresh hope
10:00am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in National News
THE news that Worcester City Supporters’ Trust want to build a stadium at Perdiswell has certainly got tongues wagging.
To say the announcement, presented to the group’s members last Friday and reported in this paper the following morning, took fans by surprise would be an understatement.
It was pretty much the sole topic of conversation in the St George’s Lane bar at the weekend — that and the team’s 3-2 defeat to Histon — and will be for some time to come.
For years, all the talk surrounding a new ground had been about Nunnery Way.
It was the only thing fans heard and, with nothing having happened since planning permission was granted more than a year ago, many had stopped caring.
But the new proposals, if nothing else, have given them hope that there might be light at the end of the tunnel for the 108-year-old club.
Contracted to Nunnery Way the club may be, but the Trust have now come up with an alternative.
It is important to state that the plans being put forward by the Trust are completely separate to the club.
They are acting independently because they believe Nunnery Way will never happen.
The City board remain tied to a contract with St Modwen to provide a ground on that site until 2017, even though they cannot afford to build anything.
Even if they were in favour of the Trust’s plans, they are very unlikely to say so publicly for fear of breaching any deal with the Birmingham-based property developer.
As far as the club are concerned, the only way is Nunnery Way.
So let’s focus on what the Trust are doing. They want to build a community facility — which Nunnery Way would not be — that, alongside the proposed swimming pool development, would form part of a sports hub.
It would provide a home for many local teams, not just City, and would still be there even if the club was to go out of business which, like it or not, remains a real possibility. The Trust know this but they have not thrown the plan together on a whim; many months of hard work has gone on behind the scenes by dedicated individuals.
Discussions have been held with Worcester City Council, the location thought through and plans drawn up.
By the time designs have been put before the planning committee, a decision on whether the scheme gets the green light could come as early as April.
Plenty of questions still remain about the Perdiswell proposal, most of which will hopefully be answered when the plans are submitted. Among them will be space — we do not yet know how many acres a new ground would take up.
Residents in the Bilford Road area, who already have the council tip on their doorstep adding to the traffic, are certain to have an opinion.
The community share scheme seems a good idea, raising £1million on top of hoped-for grants will also be tough in the economic climate.
While there may not be any guarantee the scheme will be approved, the Trust have done what they can and nobody will be able to say they didn’t try.