A group of residents opposed to FC United’s plans for a new stadium have launched an 11th-hour legal bid to kick them into touch.
Residents United Residents Association (RURA) want a judicial review of Manchester council’s decision to approve proposals for a 5,000-capacity, £4.6m complex in Moston.
They have collected £10,000, instructed a barrister and expect to serve papers on the authority ‘within the next few days’.
They will argue that the planning process was flawed and the decision should be looked at again. Once their appeal is lodged it will be up to High Court judges to decide whether to grant a full review.
Club officials said they were confident due process was followed throughout.
FC United are hoping to be in the new stadium, on the site of the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields, for the 2013/14 season.
But Annette McGovern, from RURA, said they would ‘fight it to the end’.
She said: “We will be serving the legal papers on the council in the next few days.
“Since October, we have been raising money to fight this and we have been amazed by the terrific support we have received.
“We have instructed a barrister to represent us. Our intention is to take the planning decision to a judicial review. We said that we will fight it to the end and it’s not over yet.”
Annette claimed that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of those living close to the proposed site, just off St Mary’s Road, were opposed to the plans.
That is despite the fact a city council consultation exercise found most people with local postcodes were in favour.
Kathy Crotty, a St Mary’s Road resident and member of pro-stadium group M40 4FC, said: “I welcome the investment from FC United to provide facilities which will benefit the youth of Moston.
“Although some of us support other clubs, we appreciate that this club is different because of the community aspect it has. RURA does not represent all Moston residents and the council received twice as many letters in support than against the plans.”
Mike Keegan April 04, 2012