Pic: Cambridge City FC
CAMBRIDGE CITY say they “remain committed” to relocating the club to Sawston despite a High Court ruling in favour of an appeal against their planning permission.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee had granted permission in June 2014 for the club to build a new 3,000 capacity stadium.
Local resident Karen Oakley objected and claimed the council failed to explain why they were allowing the club to build on green belt land.
The Lilywhites, who have been in exile since their exit from Milton Road in 2013, thought they had fought off the legal challenge after an initial hearing last March saw it dismissed.
Oakley appealed last year’s decision and the Court of Appeal ruled in her favour on Wednesday, saying the council had not given “sufficient” reasons for granting the planning permission.
While the original planning permission has not been formally withdrawn, it is expected that the council’s committee will reconsider the club’s application at a future meeting.
It’s a blow for the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier club, who are currently groundsharing at St Ives Town, but they say they have not given up hope of their move to Sawston.
A Cambridge statement read: “Permission for the development has not been formally quashed, but is subject to written applications from both sides being submitted before a decision is made.
“Whilst the club accepts the judgement, it is clearly very disappointed with the outcome. The club wishes to state that the case has always been between a local resident and the District Council, and whilst this has been ongoing the club has continued to set out its plans to build a first class facility for the local community and the surrounding area.
“Given the verdict today, the club will now take time to review the status of the project and will now consult all relevant parties to evaluate its position so it can develop an appropriate way forward.
“The club realises and understands the disappointment that supporters will feel at the outcome today. It also recognises the same level of disappointment and frustration that will be felt among the local population in Sawston, many of whom are looking forward to a first class community facility being built.
“With this in mind, the chairman (Kevin Satchell) and board of directors wish to state that it remains committed to relocating the club to the site in Sawston, and that a new home for Cambridge City is very much at the forefront of the plans, and has been since vacating its historic Milton Road home during the summer of 2013.”