Exclusive by Pamela Welsh and Mike Keegan
FC United have officially submitted plans for a new 5,000-capacity stadium.
The controversial bid would see a £3.5m stadium built on the Ronald Johnson playing fields in Moston.
Some neighbours living on nearby St Mary’s Road had opposed the move, claiming the stadium would lead to parking chaos. But FC United have now included a park-and-ride scheme to ease their concerns.
Supporters who travel by car would park at sites in north Manchester – including Central Park and local schools - and get a shuttle bus to the ground.
The move comes after the club held meetings to get the opinion of local people. Club bosses also delivered 10,000 leaflets to homes across the area.
FC United general manager Andy Walsh said: "There has been some opposition to the proposal from residents, mostly regarding parking and noise.
"But we have worked hard to address these concerns in our plans and if we get permission to build we will prove to residents that we are determined to be good neighbours. We have also found a lot of support for the development among Moston residents who would welcome the additional community amenities our development would bring."
The £3.5m plan include two youth pitches for Moston Juniors, who currently lease the playing fields from Manchester council, with the opportunity to play major matches in the stadium. There will also be a full-sized artificial pitch, and a medical room managed by club physios which would be open to the public.
The club is negotiating with the Charities Commission for permission to use part of the site which is covered by a charitable covenant.
Joanne Hilton, who is leading opposition to the plans, said: "There is a convenant on that land and it needs to remain green. If FC United come here it will cause chaos with the parking."
There will now be a consultation with residents before planning bosses make a decision – expected in September.
July 11, 2011