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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 March, 2003, 11:17 GMT
Opposition voiced over stadium plans
The proposed new stadium
The stadium would be three times the size of the club's current home
Opponents of plans to build a 22,000-seater sports stadium in Brighton are telling a public inquiry why the scheme should not go ahead.

Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club wants to build a new ground in the Falmer area of the city.

The scheme was given planning permission by the city council but the government ruled it should go through a public inquiry.

People backing the stadium bid have been giving evidence over several weeks, but Tuesday saw the start of submissions from those against the scheme.

Brighton and Hove Albion have been without a permanent home since their former chairman sold the Goldstone Ground, which closed in 1997 and is now the site of a retail park.

Des Lynam in favour

They play home games at the Withdean Stadium - an athletics stadium holding less than 7,000 people - but want to build a bigger and permanent home in Falmer.

The idea has met some opposition as the Falmer site is close to the South Downs and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Among people to speak in favour of the scheme were TV presenter and Albion fan Des Lynam and David Davies, the chief executive of the Football Association.

Evidence against the stadium at the public inquiry is expected to take about two weeks.

Environmental damage

The first organisation to speak was Falmer Parish Council.

A spokesman argued the stadium would bring extensive environmental damage to the area and ruin the economy of the village.

The council says it believes the football club should have a new stadium but it should be built on a brownfield site in the city.

A final decision on whether the stadium can be built is not expected until the Autumn.




SEE ALSO:
Football chief backs Seagulls
07 Mar 03 |  England
Des Lynam backs stadium plan
06 Mar 03 |  England
Inquiry starts on new stadium
18 Feb 03 |  England


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