County FA’s plans for 3G pitch delayed

SUSSEX County FA has delayed its plans to build a new artificial football pitch on Monks Recreation Ground as it turns its sights to Culver Road.

LH 090115 Monks recreation ground, Lancing. photo by Derek Martin SUS-150901-181848001
LH 090115 Monks recreation ground, Lancing. photo by Derek Martin SUS-150901-181848001

At the Lancing Parish Council meeting on April 1, chief executive of Sussex County FA Ken Benham said plans to implement an artificial football ground – 3G pitch – at Monks Recreation Ground in Crabtree Lane, Lancing will become a ‘longer-term plan’.

This will be so the county FA can first turn the site at Culver Road into a 3G pitch at the end of this year’s football season.

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After the meeting, parish clerk Colin Hunt said: “They currently lease part of the Culver Road site from us.

“There’s nothing in our agreement to stop them from developing a 3G pitch there.

“The council sees and understands their present need to do so.”

Mr Benham said at the meeting that the county FA’s intention to build on Culver Road was more immediate as the business is in serious need of additional income.

It has therefore been decided to push ahead with the provision of a 3G pitch and submit a planning application to Adur District Council, in order to replace the inadequate grass pitch at the Culver Road site.

Mr Benham also said that they were still fully committed to building a 3G pitch at Monks Recreation Ground, despite the slight change of action.

Mr Benham added he would keep councillors updated.

At a parish meeting in January this year, the county FA told councillors of its intention to fund, either in full or partly, the 3G pitch at Monks Recreation Ground using the £1.3million Section 106 money from Brighton and Hove Albion’s training ground, if approved by the district council.

If awarded the full funds, the business will receive £500,000 to build the pitch, which will be used for the community, football clubs, charity initiatives and potentially other sports appropriate for the pitch.

At the January meeting, parish chairman James Butcher said some residents previously had voiced their disapproval of the 106 money being spent on another football ground when it could go towards other projects, like a skate park.

Mr Benham said he will show the parish its draft plan for Monks Recreation Ground before he applies for the Section 106 money.