A FOOTBALL club could be moved to make room for hundreds of new homes.

Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club has leased the 11-acre site off London Road, Rayleigh, since 1971.

Rochford District Council has earmarked the land to build 550 new homes which will be built north of London Road between 2015 and 2021.
The club’s lease for the land, which also houses a sports and social club, runs out in 2015.

Rochford District Council want to move the club to land west of the site and ask the developer that builds the new homes to create brand new facilities for the teams before any work goes ahead.

David Medlock, chairman of the club, said they were holding a meeting to consider their response.

He said: “We are very surprised that despite previous assurances we were given the club would not be moved have not endured. We are equally disappointed why we have not been consulted about the reason for the decision and the consequential affect it will have.

“We are concerned that they have not appreciated the full nature of the sports and social club and the affect a move may have on the future viability.”

The field contains two full size football pitches, three mini soccer pitches, a cricket pitch and a floodlight training area. The football facilities are used by seven adult teams, one youth and six boys teams. Cricket facilities are used by a total of four adult teams and three youth teams.

Lib Dem councillor Chris Black voted against the plans.

He said: “The council is saying we are going to do what we want, you have to agree with our plan, that is bullying tactics. You can’t create good football pitches overnight, there will be a lot of disruption.

“If the council want to do a deal then they should contact the club and come to an agreement rather than dictate.”

Keith Hudson, councillor responsible for planning, says this is something that will benefit the club.

He said: “A replacement sports field with new facilities together with a new club house will be required to be provided ahead of any removal of the existing facility so as to ensure the continued and uninterrupted operation of this valuable community facility.

“It is calculated that the new club house will be built within 340 metres of the existing location and will be served by a new road.”

The plans will go before a meeting of the full council on November 27.