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News - 8 December 2011

Community Stadium plans thrown into confusion

Permission to demolish the old Falmer High School adjacent to the American Express Community Stadium and redevelop it have been halted by the City Council casting some doubt on the club's plan to expand the stadium to 30,000 seats.

Falmer High School, now renamed the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy [BACA], has been provided with brand new school buildings and the football club had an agreement with the previous Conservative administration to fund the demolition of the old school and replace it with a new community facility and a 1000 space car park for use on match days.

But the Green administration has delayed a decision until next year arguing that they may be able to get better value out of paying in the region of £800,000 for the demolition costs and then selling the land for another use. But they have also issued a joint statment with the club confirming that they want to work towards its expansion.

The club has agreed to complete a transport assessment to demonstrate how increasing the capacity of the ground would affect local traffic movements.

The opposition parties have accused the administration of resisting the proposals on ideological grounds because they would encourage more car use. The Green Party's preferred option in the Core Strategy is to abandon plans for a park & ride facility for the city [see earlier story] and some Party members may see the provision of a 1000 space car park at the Falmer ground as a conflict of political interests.


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