The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed he is happy for the development of a new stadium for Cambridge City FC at Sawston to proceed.
The proposals for a new ground for the Lilywhites were approved at a meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee in November last year. However, as the site is on green belt land, the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid MP, had to confirm that he is content with the plan. Confirmation that there are no objections from him has now been received by the Council.
The plans for the former landfill site off Babraham Road include a new 3,000 capacity stadium, along with a neighbouring artificial grass pitch and spectator area.
At Planning Committee last year, Councillors heard that the development will provide sporting facilities for many local teams, people and families, and bring forward extra recreational opportunities for the whole village of Sawston.
The committee also noted that 600 local people signed a petition in favour of the new stadium, with every signatory urging the Council to ‘facilitate the proposal as soon as possible’.
Members were also told that the development will help provide extra sporting facilities to residents, particularly children, at a time when the promotion of healthy lifestyles is considered essential.
There is currently considered to be a shortfall of recreational space within Sawston, which this stadium and neighbouring pitch will help address.
Cllr Pippa Corney, Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee said: “It’s incredibly positive news that the Secretary of State has confirmed that he has no objections to these plans, and that our decision stands, allowing the project to proceed. There is a very high bar set for construction within the green belt so it is quite right that there is this extra check in place. We felt last year, as we still do, that the special circumstances required to permit this development to take place are very much evident. The sports facilities that will be available to the local community will be so important and well-used that they represent these necessary special circumstances."
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