Page last updated at 21:48 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 22:48 UK

Protest over updated Falmer plans

Plans for Falmer Stadium
The new design for the stadium has more room for seating

Plans for a football stadium in Brighton have met with further opposition from the local community.

Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club are hoping to get planning permission from the city council for the 22,000-seater Falmer Stadium's latest design.

New health and safety and disability access rules have meant the original plans had to be changed.

Protesters said the new design does not fit in with the local area but the club said the changes were "minor".

The initial planning application for the 22,000-seater stadium on land north of Village Way, in Falmer, was submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council in 2001.

The design of the stadium was sold... to the public on the fact it would blend in with the area of outstanding natural beauty
Melanie Cutress, Falmer Parish Council

It was were accepted by the government in July 2007 after a High Court challenge and two public inquiries - but the new safety and disability rules forced the club to resubmit fresh plans.

The new design allows more room for seating, and a landscaped area at one end of the planned stadium had been altered to accommodate shops, offices and a power plant.

Melanie Cutress, from Falmer Parish Council, said: "Block work walls and metal roofs - well, that's not acceptable.

"The design of the stadium was sold to the community, to the council, to the public on the fact it would blend in with the area of outstanding natural beauty. But this won't blend in."

The South Downs Society has also objected to the new plans.

The club, which has already invested 6m on the stadium, said it is determined to start work on the building in December.

Martin Perry, chief executive of the club, said said they were confident the would get planning permission.

He said: "All we're doing is making minor changes to it. The principle has not changed, the overall concept has not changed."

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