SUSSEX County League champions East Preston Football Club have claimed another important victory – gaining planning permission for crucial improvements to help secure promotion to the Ryman League.
Days after clinching the County League Division One title, East Preston had a vital fixture at the Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton, last Wednesday, where the district council’s development control committee approved the building work at the club’s Lashmar Recreation Ground, in Lashmar Road.
Although the improvements are now underway, an anxious wait lies ahead for East Preston before the Ryman League announces whether its stringent conditions on grading the ground for a higher level of football have been met.
The work includes extending two covered areas, with a section to the north accommodating standing spectators and three wheelchairs.
The plans will enable the club to have higher attendances.
A concrete pathway will be widened and lengthened and the internal layout of the changing rooms will be altered to provide toilets for public use, by introducing two external doorways.
The club will also install two additional turnstiles and there will be a new canopy to enable people to buy refreshments under cover.
A report by council planning officers to committee members said: “The proposed additions will improve facilities for spectators attending football matches and therefore have a positive impact upon the vitality of this important asset to the community, enabling higher attendances.
“The moderate nature of the proposed extension and kiosks, particularly when taken in context with the overall size of the site, will ensure that they will not compromise the general open and spacious character of the sports club”.
No one at the club was available to comment at this stage.