The Crouch Improvement Plans

The Crouch Improvement Plans

By Thomas Webster
23 November
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Following a positive meeting between Seaford Town FC and the Crouch Concerns group a compromise has been met.

Following a positive meeting between Seaford Town FC and the Crouch Concerns group, with local councillors in attendance, a compromise has been met in which to propose to Seaford Town Council to improve the sporting facilities at The Crouch whilst maintaining public access.

STFC are going to focus on our key issues:

  • Improving the playing quality of the pitch
  • A safer playing environment for our youth disability teams
  • Protecting the pitch from toxic dog waste

We believe that a major improvement to our existing pitch side barrier along with respectful usage will help us to achieve these goals.

At the start of the meeting STFC proposed that we would no longer pursue our plans to erect a 6ft screened fence, that would maintain access to the public when matches were not being played, in compromise for an improved pitch side barrier. But for the pitch area inside the barrier to become the exclusive usage of STFC, so we can best protect and improve the playing area as a county league football pitch. This was made on the basis that the club would take on the costs to improve the barrier and no public funds were to be used.

Representatives of the Crouch Concerns group, which brings together individual Crouch users and local residents, made a valid point that the site is owned by Seaford Town Council. STFC is a tenant of the Council, holding only primary usage of the pitch and a lease on our clubhouse, floodlights and stand. Therefore any required improvements on the pitch surround barrier, over which the Club has no tenure, should be considered by Seaford Town Council as a project to be at least part-funded by public money. Crouch Concerns supports council control of the recreation field to continue for the benefit of all the Seaford community.

From the club’s point of view; if public funds are to be spent then we are happy for the pitch area to remain open to the public, as this is only fair. We would call on the council to erect new signage asking people to respect the pitch area and use it only if necessary, but the public will maintain the right as they do now to use the area if they so wish. But if we are to spend our own money then we would want to protect the investment by limiting usage of the pitch.

Together with the Crouch Concerns group we will be putting forward a proposal to Seaford Town Council to lead the pitch surround barrier upgrade project. This would involve the football club in partnership with STC raising 70% of the funds for the improvements from accessing a Football Foundation Grant and the council to acquire public funds to cover the cost of the remaining 30%. The total works are estimated to cost circa £28,000 so 30% public funds would be around £8,400. Collectively, we believe this pitch surround barrier improvement project has the potential to be a strong candidate for a contribution of public funds because it would benefit all users of The Crouch field.

Christina Bristow, of Crouch Concerns, said: “We are very pleased to have begun a positive dialogue with STFC regarding proposed changes on The Crouch field. Our group comprises many people who use the Crouch field daily, as well as neighbouring residents, who would all like to see Seaford Town Football Club flourish. We are keen to work with the Club to ensure changes are appropriate for all stakeholders, and we call for the support of Seaford Town Council in ensuring The Crouch is equitably managed for all the Seaford community to enjoy.”

Cllr Sam Adeniji said “I am pleased to be able to organise and Chair the meeting between Seaford Town Football Club and the Crouch Concerns group. It is a pleasure to see that a comprise solution has been reached and that the football Club have listened to the concerns raised by residents and is now working actively with the Crouch Concerns Group.”

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