FC United’s dream of a 5,000-capacity stadium is set to become a reality, the M.E.N. understands.
The breakaway club want to end six years on the road by building a £3.5m complex on the Ronald Johnson playing fields close to St Mary’s Road in Moston.
We can reveal that planning officers will recommend the council give the plans the green light, with conditions, at a town hall meeting next week.
The ambitious proposals have been the subject of controversy since they were first made public in April.
Some residents formed a protest group and vowed to fight the plans until the end.
They claimed building a stadium would cause traffic chaos and destroy a local beauty spot.
The club, formed in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United, say the stadium will open up land currently closed off to the community.
They believe it will bring investment to the area along with a host of facilities for residents.
And after an extensive consultation process it appears planners agree with them.
They have recommended the scheme goes ahead subject to the signing of a ‘section 106’ agreement which promises community use for the site, a reviewable travel plan and provisions for off-site parking.
It is understood the club are happy to sign such an agreement.
The council will give their verdict at an eagerly-awaited meeting next Thursday.
There will then be a ‘cooling off’ period for those on both sides to reflect on their decision and an appeal can be lodged.
The plans will also only go ahead if The Charity Commission rule that the land can be built on.
But the M.E.N. understands they are likely to rule the land is not charitable and so is suitable for the project.
FC, a co-operative, currently play their home games at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground.
They ply their trade in the seventh tier of English football and attract crowds of about 2,000.
The stadium would be a mix of terracing and seating.
Manchester Evening News, Mike Keegan, October 20, 2011