Permission for sports pavilion in Stedham

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PLANS for a new clubhouse and sports pavilion in Stedham were finally given the go-ahead on Tuesday.

Villagers have been told the scheme has now been granted planning permission and the project can move forward.

The plans, which raised controversy when they were first unveiled to Stedham villagers, have been on the drawing board for some five years.

The new pavilion, which has a price tag of some £350,000, will be built on the site of the current pavilion and will be paid for partly by the sale of the former Collins clubhouse in The Street which is due to be replaced with four houses.

Stephen McGairl, who has chaired the pavilion steering group for the last 18 months, told the Observer: “This is something the village has been wanting for a very long time and everyone is very happy with the news that we have planning permission.

“Stedham has a long tradition of sport and we have pictures of teams going back 100 years. We have a really good sports field, but the pavilion has been falling down for a long time so we have delighted we are going to get a new one.”

He said the next step would be to look at the figures. “We have a little bit of fundraising to do. We have quite a good pot of money in our account, but we suspect when we get down to detailed costings we are going to need a little bit more.”

The plans have been in the pipeline for some five years and concerns were raised when the state-of-the-art new sports facilities were unveiled at a public meeting some three years ago.

But the new steering group headed by Mr McGairl stepped up to resolve the deadlock and take the project forward.