Wisbech stadium would be a 'major blot'

Chris Bishop Plans for a £1.2m football stadium in the Fens would be "a major blot on the landscape" says a report to councillors.

Chris Bishop

Plans for a £1.2m football stadium in the Fens would be "a major blot on the landscape" says a report to councillors.

Wisbech Town FC wants to leave its Fenland Park ground, in the town's Lerowe Road, and build a new 1,500-capacity stadium on land off the B198 Old Lynn Road, just over the border in Norfolk.

But councillors are being recommended to turn down the plan, which includes two pitches, stands, changing rooms and social club.


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Gemma Cousins, a conservation and land-scape officer with West Norfolk council, says the sheer scale of the stadium "coupled with the light pollution from the flood-lights would cause a major blot on the landscape".

In a report on the application, she adds: "As this is a very flat landscape, the visual effects of this would be greater."

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Her comments come on top of a new report from Mike Houldsworth, land-scape officer for the council, who says the stadium "would be a major visual intrusion into the Fenland landscape".

In a final report to council before a decision is taken next month, Mr Houldsworth adds: "It would be difficult to screen to any extent with landscape planting. There is little room for this to be done on the layout shown.

"In itself the landscaping would not be a very natural feature in the flat landscape. Walsoken already has a number of large intrusive industrial buildings and this development would add to the poor quality of the urban fringe and rural landscape.

"Whilst there is no major loss of trees as a result of the development, there is loss of Fenland landscape. I recommend refusal on the basis of landscape impact which I can see no way to mitigate. It is the site location that is the problem."

Yesterday Wisbech Town chairman Barry Carter said he could not comment because he had not seen the report.

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