‘Positive’ meeting held as Hillians plan ground upgrades

The crowd at the Green Elephants Stadium SUS-150113-081519001
The crowd at the Green Elephants Stadium SUS-150113-081519001

‘Positive’ talks were held about Burgess Hill Town’s ground between the football club and Mid Sussex District Council yesterday (Monday January 18).

Last week, club chairman Kevin Newell said talks between the two parties over vital upgrades required at Green Elephants Stadium escalated within hours of last week’s Mid Sussex Times being published.

At yesterday’s meeting, the council said landlord’s consent will be given for the erection of a new stand when the club applies for planning permission and building regulation consent.

The ‘positive’ discussion will help to ensure Mid Sussex’s highest ranked club retain their place in the Ryman Premier League.

Garry Wall, leader of Mid Sussex District Council said: “Council officers have had a very positive meeting today with representatives from Burgess Hill Town Football Club.

“There was a genuine willingness from all at the meeting to resolve the current situation and to work together as matter of urgency to ensure that the club retains its position in the Ryman League Premier Division.

“Mid Sussex District Council will give the utmost priority to issuing the necessary consents that will enable the club to improve its facilities for fans and to negotiate a longer lease that will enable the club to access funding.”

John Rattle, general manager at Burgess Hill Town, said: “It’s important that we move forward.

“The meeting was very positive and I am pleased that we have gained the necessary agreements that we need to carry out the required improvements.

“It’s clear that there have been misunderstandings, but I am pleased that MSDC acknowledges the massive contribution that BHTFC makes to the local community and that they want to work with us to ensure that this continues well into the future.”

A crowd management plan is still required before negotiations can begin for a longer term lease.

It has been agreed that council officers will work with Mr Rattle as a matter of urgency on the completion of this plan.

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