Plans for soccer stand are shelved

PUBLISHED: 13:30 26 May 2011

Archant

CHEDDAR Football Club has shelved plans to build a stand for its supporters until at least next season when the team stages another fight for promotion.

The club submitted a planning application this month for a 50-seater stand to be constructed on its Bowdens Park ground.

However chairman Steve Bayliss revealed this week that if planning permission is granted, the club will not be building the stand until it is at a stage when promotion into the Toolstation Western League looks likely.

Under Football Association (FA) regulations, clubs must adhere to certain requirements for their grounds – known as ground grading – depending on which league they play in.

If The Cheesemen win promotion from the Somerset Senior Premier Division into the Toolstation Western League, they must tick all of the boxes of the FA’s requirements, including building a 50-seater stand.

Steve told the Mercury that despite missing out by one place and only five points during the 2010/11 season, the ‘ambitious’ club is aiming to clinch promotion next year.

He said: “We have come up against a hurdle not finishing in the top three, but you can’t say that it has been a bad season.

“We finished in fourth place which is the highest we have ever reached in our 119-year history.

“This is a major positive and to reach the heights of the Toolstation would be history for the club.”

Other improvements Cheddar AFC needed to make to meet FA requirements included carrying out work to the changing rooms, building a concrete pathway round two sides of the pitch and putting up barriers around the whole perimeter of the pitch.

In total, this has cost around £7,000 and the portable stand will cost another £7,500-8,000.

The club is still in negotiations to move grounds to a site near Winchester Farm in Cheddar and Steve said it was important to show that it is not wasting money and will be relocating the stand to the new site.

He added: “The general perception of the club is we are moving forward and we are doing things.

“It has been a bit of a blow not to be promoted but we have invested some money and this is investment for the future.”

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