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Welsh Premier Clubs Face Residents' Wrath

By Robert Stock
April 16 2009

Welsh Premier outfits NEWI Cefn Druids and The New Saints may occupy opposite ends of the league table, but they are both currently facing campaigns from a minority of local residents over plans to develop UEFA-compliant stadia.

Earlier this month, NEWI Cefn Druids received planning permission from Wrexham County Borough Council to build a new, 3000 capacity stadium at the area known as The Rocks in the adjacent village of Rhosymedre, with Tesco building a store on the land vacated at their current Plaskynaston Lane home. The deal will mean The Anicents are able to clear their debts and have a stadium meeting the proposed new 'Super10' ground criteria in time for the 2010-11 season.

However, a small group of local residents opposing the arrival of the supermarket chain in the village have decided to set up a group 'No2Tesco' attempting to stop the development. Despite the campaign focus being the opposition to the supermarket, their plans to scupper the development involve claiming the area of The Rocks as a 'village green' area.

This is a move that has angered Druids' supporters and Chairman, Brian Mackie, alike, who states in a recent letter to the Wrexham Evening Leader, that there is already more than adequate 'green' areas across the village, and that the majority of people in Cefn want a new stadium and Tesco.

The opposition group, led by Jackie Palmer, are now planning an organised picnic on the site of the new stadium, despite this area having already been fenced off in preperation for the commencing of work next month. The group currently claim to have found 40 local residents who support the campaign for 'village green' status, out of the surrounding population of over 8000 residents.

It should also be noted that the village of Rhosymedre has already had a supermarket in the shape of Somerfield for many years. I do wonder how many of the protestors shop there on a regular basis! Whilst not personally being a big fan of supermarkets, I do believe in people having the right to choose where they want to spend their hard-earned money. In a village where hundreds of jobs have been lost in recent years due to the closure of the Flexsys factory, the creation of 140 jobs should not be overlooked.

Meanwhile, just a few miles south-east on the other side of the border, TNS are also facing a battle with local residents over their ambitious plans to install 3000 seats at Park Hall.

This time the issue is parking, or a complete lack of it. The Park Hall car park has a capacity of 96 places, and local residents claim this is already insufficient, resulting in cars parking along grass verges.

The Saints, however, argue that they have plans in place to deal with the congestion and are to set up a 'Park and Ride' scheme to the ground on matchdays.

If permission is granted, The New Saints will become the first Welsh Premier club to fully meet UEFA's ground criteria for staging European matches at every stage of the competition.

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Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath (IP Logged)
16/04/2009 18:47
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Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
ioio (IP Logged)
16/04/2009 20:26
Understand the points but there seem to be legitimate concerns
1) What 's the point of having a 3000-seater stadium in an are with a population which you report as 8000 ?

2) Downright stupid to have a 3000-seater stadium in the middle of nowhere with 96 parking spaces for those attending for all the other activities besides football.

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
Rob Stock (IP Logged)
16/04/2009 20:39
1) Capacity of Druids' stadium is 3000 - but this is made up of a 500 seater stand and covered terracing. Also, within a 10 mile radius of Cefn Mawr there is a population of over 130k.

2) 96 parking places certainly does seem pretty low. Even with 4 people per car (unlikely) that's still only a car parking capacity of 400, so the alternative arrangements are going to have to be good I'd imagine.

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
ioio (IP Logged)
16/04/2009 22:22
Rob Stock
1) Also, within a 10 mile radius of Cefn Mawr there is a population of over 130k.

That includes the whole of Wrecsam and environs. Expecting a mass influx of disgruntles Wrecsam fans to watch Druids ?

Is 500 seats reallu UEFA-compliant for euro-ties ??

If so Carmarthen and Talbot have been wasting money on putting 1000 seats in.

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
Rob Stock (IP Logged)
16/04/2009 22:48
A number of Wrexham fans watch Druids on a regular basis, myself one of them! Then of course there are non-Wrexham supporting football supporters in the same area, which potentially could be lured from their armchairs. I'm not saying we'll ever fill the ground on a regular basis, or even achieve the top attendances in the Welsh Premier, but I do feel there is a considerable potential audience to draw from - something many teams in this league do lack.

And as I understood it 500 seats is the minimum number of seats required to participate in the Welsh Prem from the season after next based on UEFA Criteria for top tier football. There's so many different regulations though on grounds I may well be wrong though!

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
ioio (IP Logged)
16/04/2009 23:32
Got you.

500 is the UEFA requirement for participation in the Premier domestic league rather than euro comp.

So Druids not looking to be in Europe any time soon thengrinning smiley

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
TrevG (IP Logged)
20/04/2009 10:36
It is a bit like walking waist deep through mud this Licensing.Its why people who can understand and implement it are so few and far between.

To get the Euro License you have to get a Domestic license There are a couple of extra factors to put in place but basically its about a contracted temporary groundshare just for Euro Matches. You dont have to get your ground up to standard , you just need to contract to play at someone elses who are up to standard.

Thats why the FA of W are planning to ensure three Uefa compliant stadia . One in the South , (Parc Y Scarlets by the look of it). One in the Mid Wales (TNS?) and one in the North (Rhyl).


Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
newtonian (IP Logged)
20/04/2009 11:11
As I understand it (only through press reports mind) it is 1000 seats for the super10, but 500 seems to be a number that is coming up in posts on this site, so confused about that one - time will tell.

For UEFA it is 1000 seats but going up to 3000 in future years, as confirmed by TNS wanting to install 3000 seats. Although as I have posted previously this could be kept at 1000 as reported by Phil Pritchard.

If it wasnt for Harris' ego them TNS would be better off forgetting the 3000 and playing UEFA games at Wrexham. As TrevG says the club has to have a UEFA license and the ground a seperate UEFA license. As long as the club has one then they can play in Europe but only at a UEFA licensed ground which may not be their own.

The same carparking problems exist at Shrewsbury's new ground, fans were parking in the nearby streets taking residents spaces, now security is employed to only allow permit holders to park there on match days ie residents. Harris will as usual get his own way and @#$%& off the people he is trying to attract to the club.

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
deKorator (IP Logged)
23/04/2009 08:18
Concerned but I suppose not surprised by TrevG's comments about the three stadia. Clearly Parc y Scarlets is everything to the FAW at the moment and will enable european games to take place. In the North I guess Wrexham is the immediate solution but would prefer them to invest their time and possibly money into a WPL ground and clearly Rhyl's ground should be that option.
But TNS for mid-Wales has got to be a joke - would much prefer they look to develop Newtown's Latham Park as a future venue for European and bigger domestic games, at least it's a proper ground, a short walk in a decent town and with the added bonus of a good bunch of people rather than a plastic sports centre, miles from anywhere ............

Re: Welsh Premier Clubs Face Resident's Wrath
llanman (IP Logged)
23/04/2009 11:39
and it's not in Wales

If the FAW and WPL is serious about football and our national league then they should pump all available resources into it. The WRU pump money into Rugby quite right too - but th FAW should be promoting WPL grounds in Wales for all things football.

In 100 years time, when I'm long gone, I would expect a legacy like Scotland with all Welsh teams playing in a Welsh national pyramid on Welsh soil - is it too mach to ask?

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