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National football centre could stop 'white elephant' in Branston

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

Mayor's Ball at Burton Town Hall....Mike Ackroyd, Fay + Cedric Insley - Mayor + Mayoress of.. East Staffordshire, Cllr Patricia Ackroyd

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A GROUP opposed to a pavilion in Branston hopes the offer of St George's Park's pitches to local football teams could prevent the facility being built in their village.

The Save Clays Lane Park group is against proposals for a sports pavilion in Clays Lane, which could be built as part of an agreement with developer St Modwen to build 660 homes o n land south of the village.

Opposers claim the pavilion appears to have been designed purely with football in mind.

Another issue for protesters is the potential for criminal behaviour at the site.

Now, they believe an offer from the national football centre to allow community teams to use its pitches for free, or at reduced rate, could counteract the need for a pavilion in Branston.

A spokesman for the group said: "With this offer from St George's Park and the Sport England suggestion of £40,000 into football facilities at Shobnall fields, I can only imagine what East Staffordshire Borough Council's planning department will make of the business plan for Clays Lane sports pavilion. Perhaps they may refuse permission, then we prevent the Clays Lane white elephant."

However, St Modwen, which will provide the pavilion, said the building would create facilities not currently available in Branston.

A spokesman for St Modwen said: "The layout has been developed to create a flexible community space that provides natural surveillance, improved access and respects the existing context."

It comes after Branston Parish Council, headed up by Mike Ackroyd, chose the pavilion option instead of an area of green space.

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