Winchester City Football Club has unveiled major plans to redevelop its ground and have a new artificial pitch. 

Support has been flooding in for the scheme at The City Ground, Hillier Way, in Abbotts Barton.

The application, submitted by Calum Drummond, is for the 'provision of an artificial grass pitch, floodlighting, new and relocated stands, storage container, vehicular access replacement and extension of parking area and ancillary works'.

The plan is for Winchester City FC and the Winchester City Flyers to use the facilities. The scheme has been in the pipeline for some time, with funding for it coming, in part, from Winchester City Council and the Football Foundation. The total cost is expected to be around £1m.

Hampshire Chronicle: Proposed works

Winchester City FC currently plays in the Southern League Premier Division South after winning promotion in 2022.

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On Friday August 4, 13 supporting comments had been submitted and no objections. 

Kevin Watkins, of Longfield Road, Winnall, said: “These plans are vital for the future of the football club and for football in the city with all weather pitches currently in short supply and the ones we have are always fully booked.

“This would be a major asset to the local community as well as the surrounding area knowing that many male and female football teams will have a great facility to call home which isn't currently available anywhere in the city.

Hampshire Chronicle: Current stand

“With the football club currently just three promotions from the football league a city the size of Winchester should also have the facilities off the pitch to match the ambition on it. Matchdays sees home and away supporters using various drinking and eating establishments nearby, bringing extra revenue to the city on a regular basis and it's vital that this isn't lost.”

Simon Leigh-Jones, of Priors Way, said: “This will be a brilliant development. A fantastic advance for the city of Winchester and its football team. Just gonna make better days out for all that support this club."

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Andrew Bone, of Hillside Road, Teg Down, said: “This is needed to push grassroots and senior football forward in the community. It will be essential to provide a base for junior boys and girls football negating the need to hire substandard facilities at local schools.”

On the scheme's planning statement, it said: “The proposed development consists of the replacement of an existing grass pitch and the provision of a full size 11v11 artificial grass pitch, 15m replacement floodlighting, fencing, additional spectator stands, storage container, toilet unit, team shelters vehicular access and extension and replacement of hardstanding areas and associated parking. Biodiversity improvements are proposed to the south of the pitch.

Hampshire Chronicle: Current ground

“Other parts of the development include the replacement of existing floodlighting to the boundaries of the pitch along with fencing. Parking is also proposed to accommodate 81 vehicles on site with an additional area for overflow parking.

“Once completed, the new surface will enable more matches to be undertaken, particularly on weekends and the ground will become the home venue for WCFC teams (men and boys) and Winchester City Flyers (ladies and girls).

“The proposals seek to make efficient and effective use of land for the facility which will help promote football and improve the community offering in Winchester and the wider area.”

To read more about the application online, search 23/01704/FUL on Winchester City Council's planning portal.