AFC Bournemouth’s dream of expanding the 11,000 seater Vitality stadium may still be alive as the feared Bournemouth Borough Council Act of 1985 may not be enough to block development.
The Bournemouth Borough Council Act, nicknamed ‘Five Parks Act’, was introduced in 1985 to ensure that all five parks did not become a site for commercial use.
It states that: “At all times keep the five parks and each of them unbuilt on as open spaces for the recreation and enjoyment of the public.”
The Cherries submitted proposals for a new stadium in early July this year, but Buzz News can reveal that plans are expected “soon” , on an area of land which includes Kings Park Athletics Stadium and the club’s existing training pitches.
This would mean that the club would leave Dean Court which has been it’s home since 1972.
Local’s raise the issue that a new stadium could be a breach of ‘Five Park’s Act’.
“This is not a target at AFC Bournemouth at all. It is to protect the park”.
Despite the clubs initial confidence of a successful outcome, locals questioned that a new stadium being built on King’s Park, one of the five parks under the ‘Five Parks Act’, was a breach of the Act.
Elaine Findlay, chairperson of local group ‘Friends of Kings Park’, which campaigns to ensure the Bournemouth Borough Council Act of 1985 is abided by said: “This is not a target at AFC Bournemouth at all. It is to protect the park”
She said: “Popular demand cannot override a point of law. So if part of that stadium is going on a part of land covered that is covered by the ‘Five Parks Act’, 200 million voices wouldn’t be able to change that without changing that act of parliament and that will not happen quickly”.
Bournemouth Planning Board chairman suppresses anti-development claims.
David Kelsey, the chairperson of the Bournemouth Council Planning Board, ensured that “AFC Bournemouth are aware of the Act”
He said: “People may use it as a delaying tactic but I don’t think it will be a total hurdle for them, any hurdle is able to be jumped.”
Mr Kelsey confirmed that AFC Bournemouth were yet to propose a plan. He said; “They are still in consultation with all parties at this time but we hope to get details of their plans soon.”
AFC Bournemouth’s fans dream of a new stadium may no longer be subject to the Bournemouth Borough Council Act of 1985.