Twice as many letters have been received by council chiefs in support of FC United’s plans for a 5,000-capacity stadium than against them, the M.E.N. can reveal.
Next month, the breakaway club and a residents’ group opposed to the scheme face a date with destiny at Manchester town hall, when a planning committee gives its verdict on whether the Moston project can go ahead.
Planners invited feedback from the community and it is understood about 1,000 letters have come into the council objecting to the plans compared with more than 2,000 in favour.
Each is being scrutinised ahead of the September 16 decision.
A town hall source said officials were ‘staggered’ by the amount of letters received about the proposals, which would see the ground, a mix of terracing and seating, built on the currently-gated Ronald Johnson playing fields close to St Mary’s Road.
The source added: “There are literally boxes of letters that we have to sift through before the planning committee meeting. It’s a struggle to think of anything that has created as much interest in living memory.”
Since we revealed the proposals in April, debate has raged over the merits of the scheme which would see FC, formed in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United in 2005, secure a permanent home in the city.
The club want to build an eco-friendly community facility. They claim it will regularly throw open its doors to residents and promised to cater for Moston Juniors, the amateur team who play at the site.
Residents United Residents Association, formed in protest at the plans, claim it will cause traffic chaos, lower house prices and destroy a valuable green space.
With the all-important verdict looming, many homes in the area are displaying posters either in favour of or against the plans. Once the decision is made The Charity Commission will also have to decide whether the site can be used to build a stadium because the land is subject to a covenant governing its use.
August 22, 2011