Conservative Group Leader – Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald – has urged the Green Administration of Brighton & Hove City Council to take decisive action so that Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club can realise their plans for expanding the AMEX Stadium.
Speaking at yesterday’s Council Cabinet meeting Cllr. Theobald expressed his concern that the Green’s postponement of a decision on the future of the former Falmer High School site could put in jeopardy the planning application for 8,000 new seats, which is vital to the future of the Albion.
Under the previous Conservative Administration, an agreement had been reached with the Albion to provide a home for the Bridge Community Education Centre build a Pupil Referral Unit, and locate a 1,000 capacity match day car park. Following the last-minute decision by the Greens not to press ahead with this agreement, there is now a real danger that the car park will not get built and that council taxpayers will have to foot the bill, thought to be in the region of £1 million.
Cllr. Theobald said: “There are many thousands of Albion fans both within and outside of the city who will be wondering what on earth is going on. The statement which the Council Leader read out yesterday was full of warm words but was lacking in any real detail. In my view, it will be extremely difficult to get a planning application for 8,000 extra seats through without a significant amount of additional parking provision. Where is this going to come from if the land at the former Falmer High School is now out of the equation? I’m afraid that the last few days’ events show a real lack of leadership from the Greens. Their vision to get everyone coming to the AMEX by bicycle, on foot or by public transport might be nice in theory but it is simply not practical for everyone. I would urge the Leader of the Council to work with the Albion to resolve this as a matter of urgency. The fans have been messed about too many times over the last 10 years or so – they deserve better.”