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Footballer’s support for contentious Branston pavilion plan

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

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A ROW over plans for a sports pavilion has rumbled on with footballers speaking out in support of the project.

Sports coach and Branston Gate FC player Robert Slater said he thought the plans for changing facilities in Clays Lane, Branston, would be a mayor improvement.

He spoke to the Mail after yet another packed out and heated Branston Parish Council meeting where dozens of angry resident voiced concerns about the plans.

The sports pavilion has proved a bone of contention since the parish council supported for the plans after a public consultation of 3,000 homes resulted in 200 residents being favour and 116 against.

When he spoke to the Mail after the parish council meeting, Mr Slater, 23, said: “We are the only village in Burton that does not have changing rooms and a football pitch - so it’s quite sad.

“We are not saying it would be only for our team but it would provide somewhere proper to play with proper facilities and changing rooms.”

Branston residents have submitted a 350-name petition against the plans.

They say the pavilion could be a hub for anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

But Mr Slater, who also works as a sports coach, said this was not a reason to not go ahead with the plans.

He said: “I work with kids and all they want to do is play football, it’s a simple pair of goalposts.

“People are moaning about vandalism but at the end of the day you cant not have something because of the risk - people are turning their noses up.”

Maple Way resident David Cole has spearheaded opposition to the pavilion.

During the parish council meeting he vowed to continue the fight against the plans.

He told the parish council: “I for one am not against footballers.

“But this is the third meeting where you have got this turnout, and you will get this turnout until you listen to the public who voted you in.”

The plans are part of an agreement with developer St Modwens to build 660 homes on land south of the village.

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