Residents have vowed to fight on after FC United’s plans to build a stadium opposite their homes were given the green light.
Campaigners have hired a barrister and are planning to take legal action against the decision.
The 5,000-capacity stadium was approved at a boisterous Manchester council planning meeting, where jubilant fans and furious residents had a stand-off.
A consultation exercise found the plans were supported the people of Manchester by a majority of two-to-one.
But a group of objectors living close to the proposed site at the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in Moston claimed the stadium would cause traffic chaos and destroy a local beauty spot.
Annette McGovern, from Residents United Residents’ Association, said: "There are lots and lots of holes in the arguments for this development and it is totally unacceptable. We have not given up and are definitely going to fight on.
"I will be seeking a meeting with our representatives to work out what our next step will be."
Part of the playing fields in between St Mary’s Road and Lightbowne Road are covered by a covenant which states the land has to be used for recreation of the people of Moston.
But the M.E.N. understands the Charities Commission is likely to rule that the land is not charitable and is suitable for the project.
FC United, who play in the seventh tier of English football, hope to be using the facility by the start of next season.
Andy Walsh, general manager of FC United, said: "We are very pleased. We still have a lot of hard work to do. We’ve got to raise the cash and we want to continue the consultation with residents to ensure that the development is something fitting for the area.
"We want to be long-term partners and good neighbours."
The £3.5m plans include two youth pitches for Moston Juniors, a full-sized artificial pitch, and an open-to-the public medical room managed by club physios.
Club bosses say they will put on special park-and-ride schemes during match days so that residents do not suffer parking problems.
The breakaway club chose the Moston site after its preferred location in Newton Heath fell through due to council funding reallocation in March.
HUNDREDS of people packed into Manchester town hall to hear whether FC United’s controversial stadium plans would get the go-ahead.
Reaction to the decision was utterly divided – fans cheered and clapped, while there were furious outbursts from campaigners.
Karen Galston, one of the residents against the plans, said: "We do not have a lot of green space in Moston and it is totally the wrong place for this development. I am shocked but not surprised by this.
"The land was given to the people of Moston in memory of people who died during the First World War."
In his submission to the planning committee, the club’s general manager Andy Walsh said he had been in contact with a member of the Ronald Johnson family. Mr Walsh said: "The representation from the person identifying themselves as part of the Ronald Johnson family said that FC United’s vision was a 21st-century version of the original bequest."
Two of Moston’s councillors – Paul Murphy and Rita Tavernor – voiced their support.
Coun Murphy said: "I believe the stadium will benefit all the community in Moston. However, it is important to monitor FC United to make sure they do what they say and we will be looking at that closely."
The only Moston councillor to oppose the scheme, Henry Cooper, said he was ‘disappointed’ by the decision.
Coun Cooper said: "Many of the people who supported the scheme did not directly come from the area and won’t be affected directly by the stadium when it is up and running."
The stadium was allowed to go ahead after a partnership was forged between Moston Juniors and Manchester council to allow FC United to use the land.
Coun Mike Amesbury, the council’s culture and leisure chief, said: "This will mean Moston Juniors FC and other sports groups in the area will have access to a top-class facility which will enable them to thrive.
October 28, 2011