Hellesdon FC staying at current ground, after parish council agrees to help

Hellesdon Football Club is staying at its current home for the time being at least – after the parish council agreed in principle last night to allow it to improve toilet facilities at the ground.

The club has played at the recreation ground off Middletons Lane for more than 50 years, but it was promoted last season and its toilet facilities are not up to the standard required in the new league they will be playing in. The club needs toilet facilities to accommodate three officials next season, but the current portable building only has room for one official.

The Evening News understands that if the council had refused to allow the club to enlarge the facilities, there was a real chance the club could have been forced to play its games outside of Hellesdon.

But last night, Hellesdon Parish Council agreed in principle that if it applies for fresh planning permission for the facility, and the club takes the old building away, then the club would pay for a new facility and maintain it.

Adrian Hubbard, chairman of the football club, which last season gained promotion to Division 1 of the Anglian Combination, told the meeting that the new league was insistent that facilities were improved.

He said: 'For certain matches next season we will have to provide facilities including showers for three refereeing officials, but the current toilet is adequate for just one. For the majority of next season one would be enough, but for about five cup matches, facilities for three officials will be needed.

'We are prepared to fund an upgrade of the current facility, and will be happy for other clubs to use it.'

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Councillors at the meeting were told that planning permission for the current building on the site had expired, and the council was subject to an enforcement notice to either remove it or reapply for planning permission.

Have you got a story about your local council? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.