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Grand designs for 600 Braintree homes and a stadium

By Braintree Chronicle  |  Posted: March 01, 2012

  • building plans: A map showing the piece of farmland off Panfield Lane which will take the new homes and football stadium, below, which Braintree Town chairman Lee Harding, inset, says the club desperately needs

  • SECRET PLANS: Braintree Town FC bosses believe their new stadium could look like this artist's impression.

  • Braintree Town chairman Lee Harding

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BLUEPRINTS for 600 new homes and a 6,000-capacity stadium in Braintree will be unveiled to the public tomorrow.

The development off Panfield Lane will also include an extension to Tabor Science College and a new community centre, and 37 acres of land is earmarked for business and new jobs.

But not everyone will be happy to see the drawings, with some local residents accusing the council of not properly consulting them and vowing to fight the developers' designs through the planning process.

Panfield Lane resident Greg Howell said: "We will certainly be heading to the exhibition to see the plans.

"We want to make sure we are engaged with the work of the council and we hope the council will modify the plans to accommodate the views of local people."

Braintree Town Football Club Chairman Lee Harding hopes to move his high-flying team into to a new stadium in time for the 2016 season.

"We'll find out for the first time where the ground will go," said Mr Harding.

"Like everyone else we'll see the initial sketches for the first time this week and we're really looking forward to it.

"After we find out how much space we are getting, we will start work on a business plan with the council."

The club are expecting a 4,000 gate for their match against Luton on Easter Saturday and Mr Harding says the club needs to move to cope with the extra crowds at Cressing Road, their home since 1923.

Mr Harding added: "We are outgrowing our current location. We're definitely banging our heads on the ceiling.

"By moving we will meet all our ground requirements to take us into and let us stay in the Football League."

Residents are now being invited to help shape the plans by having their say on artistic impressions being unveiled at Tabor Science College tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.

Braintree council voted in September to adopt its Local Development Framework, which earmarked the farmland between Springwood Drive Industrial Estate and Panfield Lane as a future development site to meet Government housing targets.

However, they refused to release any pictures until the exhibition.

Councillor Lady Newton, cabinet member for enterprise, housing and development, said Braintree District Council wanted to involve as many residents as possible in the development of the farmland.

She said: "We want to involve as many local people as possible in planning the development of this important area and the exhibition makes it easy for them to get involved."

The exhibition takes place tomorrow (Friday) between 6 and 8.30pm and on Saturday between 10am and 12.30pm.

Anyone unable to attend can view and comment on the plans from March 5 to 23 by visiting www.braintreenorthwest.co.uk

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