PLANS FOR SEACLOSE PARK FOOTBALL STADIUM SUPPORTED BY COUNCIL

Football could be coming home to Newport after the new Isle of Wight Council has said it wants to see what it can do to help bring the plans along.

Earlier this year, Whippingham and Fairlee’s Cllr Matt Price put forward the idea of building a football ground at Seaclose Park to keep Newport FC in the centre of the town

A purpose-built stadium has been given the go-ahead for the club but down the road near the Racecourse Roundabout in Whippingham, instead of in Newport.

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Recently, the club announced plans to temporarily move to Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde while a new ground is built.

The football team have been sharing grounds with East Cowes Vics after moving out of their home on St George’s Way to make way for a retail park, which will include big stores and a McDonald’s and Costa drive-thru.

Both of the developments are proposed by South Coast Leisure, whose director, Tony Wake, is also chairman of the football club.

Work was expected to start towards the end of summer on the Whippingham site but Mr Wake said he was happy to keep the Seaclose alternative on the table should the council and public agree it was the better option.

Carrying out his own consultation, Cllr Price said the plans, which also include other community aspects to rejuvenate the park, like new sports equipment, the upgrading of walking and cycling routes and skate park improvements, had received considerable support.

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Now, with the election of new councillors and a new ruling party in charge of the Isle of Wight Council, talks have been underway about the potential move.

Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, also ward representative for Newport Central, said with the public’s affection for the football club, it would be ideal to bring it back to the town.

Cllr Jones-Evans confirmed that after speaking to the new leader of the council, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, they wanted to see what could be done to bring the team back into its hometown.

While there is lots to look at, Cllr Jones-Evans said they were happy to take it to the next stage.

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She said:

“There might be some planning hurdles to overcome but we have to see what [the developers] are going to offer the council first, as it has to be zero costs for us as we are giving up a playing field.

“But hopefully they will be building a public asset.

“Under the previous administration, I think it was pretty much a no but we want to look at it and it seems like quite a good idea, so let’s explore it.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Dicky Daniels
Dicky Daniels
1 month ago

What would happen at the original site on Whippingham, more shopping?

George Thomas
George Thomas
Reply to  Dicky Daniels
1 month ago

I bet it becomes another housing development

Mojo
Mojo
1 month ago

Seaclose ideal place easy per access and egress for 1 less traffic chaos potential 2 not going to upset the homeowners if the position of statism is thought about , as it would at the racecourse area 3

Only Me
Only Me
1 month ago

Surely a much better Plan than the Whippingham site – leave Whippingham green!

MC hammer
MC hammer
1 month ago

Newport football club should have never left church litten , forced out by the greedy money men looking for a quick buck and now the same is happening again , history and community don’t count no more , as long as everything else takes presidents, short term gain , long term pain ! Disgrace !

Mango crazy
Mango crazy
1 month ago

Absolutely the best place for ground, walk up support means less car parking.
Should build stadium with design to increase capacity at future date, as when successful it is able to compete at higher level. Corporate boxes, Family facilities
Should all go into plans, Multi purpose useage small festivals, bus and coach parking
So much scope to be a wonderful asset to Newport and the IOW add in tourism, fans from away sides encouraged to stay over, so many positives.
Good luck.⚽️⚽️

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