Jockeys can ride high after stands go ahead

By Review reporter   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 13th February 2022 7:00 am

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A FOOTBALL club has been given the green light to kick on with plans for two new stands, despite concerns from neighbours over parking issues.

Chepstow Town FC say the Larkfield Park ground upgrade from 100 to 250 seats will make them eligible in future for Tier 2 football if they win promotion.

Monmouthshire Council’s planning committee has given the go ahead for one new 50-seat stand beside the existing stand, and an additional 100-seat stand behind the goal near the Jockeys’ clubhouse.

Parking concerns were raised by residents living near the ground, who claimed cars are parked on residential streets on match days, with more than 40 comments sent to planners.

Ground neighbour Ed Willingham told planners: “The club currently doesn’t have a big enough car park…

“Cars and large vans are often parked on the pavement, over junctions (mainly Larkfield Grove) and on corners of roads, blocking pedestrians and emergency vehicles.

“If a complaint is made to the vehicle owner, it is met with abuse! An introduction of stands and an increase in spectators will make the situation worse.”

He also claimed that smashed glasses, leftover food wrappers and drink cans were already left in surrounding streets and gardens on match day, while noise levels were also an issue.

Fellow resident Guy Harris added: “The club cannot support the current number of fans within its current car park.

“The stands are obviously designed to attract more supporters but their infrastructure cannot support this.

“On match days cars are illegally parked and cause issues and would prevent emergency vehicles entering Larkfield Grove.”

But the club told planners it will increase the capacity of its car park from 26 to 37 spaces, and submitted a car parking management plan to address the issue.

Larkfield ward councillor Paul Pavia told Tuesday’s planning committee meeting of “significant local concerns” over the current parking.

Cllr Pavia said the club should not be ‘stymied’ from development, but that it had a responsibility to be “a good neighbour”.

“Residents must not be inconvenienced in the way that they have been thus far and potentially could be by these proposals in terms of increased traffic stress and anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“The club must find a way of co-existing with residents to ensure that any impact now and in the future is properly managed and mitigated.”

Cllr Phil Murphy said “ongoing monitoring” was needed over parking issues, including with Gwent Police and the highways department, but that he was in support of the plans.

“We do need to support teams like this,” he added.

Cllr Louise Brown asked if a traffic regulation order, such as for a resident permit scheme, could be considered if the parking management plan is not effective.

However planning officer Philip Thomas said such orders could only be made by the highways department rather than by planning.

He said the proposed parking arrangements exceeded the authority’s requirements and offered “a vast improvement” on the current situation.

The stand plans were unanimously approved.


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