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The approval of plans for Newport IW Football Club’s new home at Whippingham has been welcomed.

Both the club and developers South Coast Leisure have thanked the Isle of Wight Council’s planning department and planning committee following approval of the plans this evening (Tuesday).

The proposals by South Coast Leisure will provide the club with a brand new floodlit pitch, main stand and bar/function room facilities on land off The Racecourse on one of the main routes serving Newport.

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The plans had been modified following a consultation meeting with residents at The Breeze, Island Harbour, in November. Taking on feedback from that meeting, the agreed proposals include vehicular access via a new entrance off Whippingham Road and egress via a left only-turn from a newly-constructed feeder road onto Fairlee Road.

Paul Airey, planning consultant acting for South Coast Leisure, said:

“I would like to thank the IW Council for the diligent way it has dealt with this planning application. We are delighted the council shares our view that this is a suitable location for a new facility that will make Newport FC a sustainable club and also provide sporting and other facilities for wider community use.

“We can now concentrate on the planning application for a retail and business park at St. George’s Park. This will generate the funds to build the new stadium at the Racecourse and, with a fair wind, we hope to have the new stadium built and occupied s during the 2018/2019 season.

“The creation of this new sportsground is of course dependent on a suitable development scheme at St Georges Park being approved and hopefully this consent will be given in the summer.”

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Peter Westhorpe, secretary of the Newport Football Club Supporters Society said:

“We have watched closely over the years as SCL have tried to find a suitable site to relocate the ground and have shared their frustrations over the difficulties in finding a site that meets everyone’s collective expectations.

“This is the ideal location for the ground and the proposed facilities are exactly the right specification for our current use and future aspirations. The site is close to Newport, is easily accessible, and will provide us with a modern, low maintenance facility which will allow us to prosper.

“Newport FC already generates a wide interest at youth level from both boys and girls, and the facility will undoubtable help this grow and thrive. I hope that this will, in time, also reflect on the future success of the senior teams and the wider status of the club. The ground and the clubhouse, with disabled access, will also be available for wider community use. These are undoubtedly exciting times not just for the club, but also for the Island community.”

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