Work is set to start on a new football ground after developers successfully appealed against the decision to reject the application.
The application for a 150-seater spectator stand, the reconfiguration of football pitches, new floodlighting and a fence at the South Newsham Recreation Ground in Blyth, was refused by the council in December last year.
This is not just a result for our club, it is a result for our townSandra Orr, chair of Blyth Town FC
But an appeal by Paul Draper on behalf of Blyth Town Community Football Club against Northumberland County Council’s decision, this week found in his favour.
Sandra Orr, chairperson of Blyth Town FC, said: “It is our club’s 20th anniversary this year and consolidating this planning consent is a great anniversary gift for the whole club.
“Basically, it will enable the club to proceed up the football pyramid.
“The clubhouse and new 3G training area will also be undertaken this year – funded by our winning of the Budweiser Futures campaign.
“Our ladies and men’s teams will greatly benefit, but as a community club, it gives our juniors, boys and girls, something to aspire to.
“We were devastated in November when the planning committee refused permission.
“The club was misrepresented by local councillors, which rocked our faith in the system. However, it is the duty of a planning inspector at appeal to simply view and judge an application on it’s merits and thankfully that is exactly what has happened.
“This is not just a result for our club, it is a result for our town.
“We will have one of the best facilities in the county for our young people.”
The scheme will see the football pitches re-configured to accommodate facilities for nine-a-side matches and 11-a-side matches.
The plans were put forward to upgrade the ground to meet the standards and criteria needed to allow the senior team to be promoted.
Planning inspector David Cullingford said: “I have found that these proposals to up-grade this recreation ground would enhance the character and use of this facility without either serious impediment to the peace and prospect nearby residents might reasonably expect to enjoy or serious impact on traffic hazards.”
A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council added: “We note the inspector’s decision on this appeal.
“He considers that the proposal will not spoil, but rather will enhance the use of the facility.”