MEN (Mike Keegan and Pamela Welsh)
Residents opposed to FC United’s planned new stadium fear their house prices will plummet if the scheme gets the green light.
Homeowners on St Mary’s Road in Moston, opposite the site for the breakaway club’s proposed 5,000-capacity ground, claim the value of their properties will drop by 10 to 15 per cent if the Rebels come to town.
But FC officials say those claims are not true – and claim property prices will in fact RISE if the project goes ahead.
Jean McCarthy, who lives close to the site, said residents had contacted estate agents to find out how the move would impact on house prices.
She said: “We spoke to three or four and they said they would go down by 10 to 15 per cent.
“It’s not just that. We don’t want them here. This will impact on so many lives and so many people will be disturbed.”
But Andy Walsh, general manager of FC, moved to allay fears and pointed to a recent study which found that house prices increase when a new stadium is built near a residential area.
He said: “A report done by the Cass Business School found that house prices close to new football stadiums have actually gone up.”
Annette McGovern, chairman of the Residents United Residents Association, led a protest against the plans. She claimed the move would see homeowners charged to park outside their houses on match days. She said: “We feel that there is a real issue with parking – we could be charged up to £120 per car, per year, just to park in front of our homes.”
But Mr Walsh said the plans did not include a parking permit system and a spokesman from Manchester council said their schemes were free of charge.
He said that FC had approached the residents group to invite them to discussions.
Proposals for a community stadium on the site, currently leased by Moston Juniors, were announced after similar plans for a stadium on Ten Acres Lane collapsed due to the council switching funding.
FC currently play in the seventh tier of English football and attract average crowds of 2,000 to Bury’s Gigg Lane, their current home.
They were formed as a co-operative in 2005 in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United and want a
permanent home in the city.
Club officials have organised a number of drop in sessions where plans can be viewed.
» Details can be found at: http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/ story.php?story_id=3622