MANGOTSFIELD United’s plans to replace the grass pitch at its stadium with an all-weather artificial surface have been approved.
South Gloucestershire Council officers approved the club’s planning application using delegated powers on December 1, just over two months after they were submitted.
It means the club can press on with plans to start work on the project after the end of the current football season.
The club believes it can increase accessibility and use of the Cossham Street ground by schools and other organisations, as well as its partner sides, with the 3G all-weather surface.
The plans also include new LED floodlighting and widening the margins around the sides of the pitch to meet new safety guidelines aimed at preventing head injuries to players.
This will involve expanding the ground on one side, moving the boundary 5m (about 16ft) into the neighbouring Hut Field, which is used by the community as well as for some club training sessions.
A total of 95 comments were received from the public on the plans, with 89 of them in support and just three objecting, with the other comments neutral.
The planning conditions include provisions for noise monitoring and usage restricted to between 8am and 10pm on most weekdays, and 8am to 9pm on weekends, with late-night usage extended to 11pm for ten days per year to allow for late-finishing cup ties.
First team manager and Mangotsfield & Blackhorse Sports and Community Association chair Glyn Ashton said: “We were delighted to receive planning permission for the project, and just as pleasing was the overwhelming support from the local community on the planning application, which makes it clear to us how important this project is.
“We now enter the final phase of fundraising and, all being well, we’ll be able to announce the timescales for the installation of the new playing surface early in the New Year.
“With the work involved, Mangotsfield United will need to play some games at the start of the 2024/2025 season at a temporary home and we are currently in advanced talks with a venue that will hopefully host us for that period.
“In the meantime we would like to thank everyone who has offered their support for this project, both in writing and verbally – it really means a lot, and now we would ask everyone to help us in our final push to get the final funds in place so that we can bring this project to life.”
The club has an online donation page aimed at raising £20,000 towards the cost of the £1.2 million project, which can be found at justgiving.com/campaign/project24.