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SIMON STOKES: 'Constructive discussion' with residents over Bush Hill FC growth

May 1, 2018 12:15 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

At a public meeting last night, Redbridge candidate Simon Stokes heard opinions from residents on the proposed growth of grassroots football club Bush Hill FC.
Bush Hill FC crest (https://twitter.com/bushhillfc1)
Football Association (FA) rules dictate that to progress to the next level of competition, Bush Hill FC - based at Mansell Park adjacent to Kendal Avenue - would have to erect a fence to fully enclose the playing area, as well as introduce standing and seating areas for spectators. Following several years of sustained success, the club is ready for the next step.

However, concerns had been raised about the short and long-term effects of fencing off part of a public park, and inconsiderate matchday parking.

Following last night's public meeting, ward candidate Simon Stokes commented:

"It was fantastic to see so many people at this meeting, it really was standing room only, which I think shows how much people care about this community and its future.

"I thought the meeting went well, and was ultimately very constructive. Some residents had, and still have, legitimate concerns and reservations about the proposals on Mansell Park - for example, development of public green space and car parking. However, Mr McManus, representing Bush Hill FC, has taken on board those concerns and has promised to consult the local community more thoroughly as the plans are amended.

"It was unfortunate that of the six individuals standing for election in Redbridge this Thurdsday, only myself and one other candidate were in attendance. This was disappointing, as I had hoped to hear what other parties had to say on the matter, as did other residents. I think that disappointment in their apparent lack of interest in the ward could well play out at the ballot box"

Prior to the meeting, it emerged that Bush Hill FC had withdrawn their planning application.

Simon Stokes for RedbridgeSimon Stokes added:

"I think it was the right decision to withdraw the application at this time. It's important with any kind of project like this that the community is consulted, and given the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. This was accepted by Mr McManus of Bush Hill FC, and he assured residents that they will be consulted at a later date, as the plan progresses.

"I follow a couple of non-league football clubs, and I'm always impressed by the work they do for and with their communities. I'm certain that Bush Hill FC and its representatives will take on board the feedback from residents, and will make every effort to allay their reservations about the growth of this successful grassroots club.

"I wish them the very best of luck with the remainder of their season, and their future plans."