Recession hits Whitton stadium plans

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:58 04 March 2010

BUILDING work at King George V Field, Whitton has been hit by the downturn in the economic situation, and Whitton United are unlikely to have their new stadium ready inside the next three years.

BUILDING work at King George V Field, Whitton has been hit by the downturn in the economic situation, and Whitton United are unlikely to have their new stadium ready inside the next three years.

Much preparatory work has been done to turn the current playing field and site of the former Tooks bakery in Old Norwich Road into a housing estate, but planning permission has not yet been granted.

Buildings on the Tooks site have been demolished, and the building of a small housing estate is included in the current local development plan.

But Whitton United look as though they will have to wait until the 2011/12 season at the earliest before they can move into a brand new stadium provided for them by the developers and including stands, floodlights and all the trimmings to make it the next best football stadium in the town behind Portman Road.

It could make them one of the strongest sides in the county, but Graham Emmerson, spokesman for the King George V trustees, said today: “Progress is on-going and permission has been granted for football pitches to be laid in Whitton Church Lane to take over from the ones that will be lost.

“The purpose-built stadium will act as a buffer between the current commercial outlets and the new housing development at King George V, but it looks now as though this will be at least two or three years down the road.”

In the meantime, Whitton, who have no chairman, are going to be under pressure from the league to improve the facilities on a site that is also used by Crane Sports to play senior football in the Metaltec SIL.

Tomorrow there is a derby at King George V with Gary Thompson's inconsistent Whitton taking on Woodbridge Town.

Leiston and Felixstowe and Walton United are also at home while in the First Division, Ipswich Wanderers are at home to Godmanchester, while Brantham, Debenham and in-form Stowmarket Town are all away.

Hadleigh United have no game tomorrow but former club captain Chris Smith has returned to Millfield after a short spell at Debenham Leisure Centre.

Over the past few weeks Hadleigh have also signed Alan Mills and Darren Mills from Felixstowe and Walton United, Daniel Wade from Whitton and Seb Brimsted from Needham Market. Moving out are Bradley Barber and Danny George who have both gone to Felixstowe.

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