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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February 2005, 03:01 GMT
Brighton stadium inquiry restarts
The planned new stadium
The planned stadium would be three times the size of Withdean
The public inquiry into Brighton and Hove Albion's attempt to build a new stadium resumes on Tuesday.

Interested parties will visit nine alternative sites put forward by deputy prime minister John Prescott when he adjourned the inquiry last July.

The football club wants to build a 22,000-seater ground on land at Falmer but the plan is opposed by villagers.

Fans and the club have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund the ongoing inquiry process.

Backed by MPs

The club has been without a permanent home since the Goldstone Ground closed in 1997.

The Seagulls now play home games at Withdean - a 7,000 capacity athletics arena in Brighton.

Planning permission for the planned ground at Falmer was submitted in 2001 and the scheme has been backed by the city council, local MPs and many local residents.

The public inquiry into the scheme started in 2003 and has twice been adjourned without a decision.

A sign supporting the stadium plans
Fans have appealed directly to John Prescott for a 'yes' verdict
Mr Prescott had been expected to give a verdict last July but instead announced another delay.

He outlined seven other sites in the city which had to be examined as alternative homes for a new stadium, with a further two added to the list since.

The football club has spent more than 300,000 hiring planning, environmental, traffic and safety experts to look at the feasibility of each of the other sites.

Chief executive Martin Parry said on the club's website: "We have come to the same conclusion we did in 1999 - which was confirmed by the city council.

"Falmer is the best site within Brighton and Hove for our new stadium.

"We're confident that Mr Prescott will come to the same conclusion."

After Tuesday's tour of proposed sites, experts will begin giving evidence to the government inspector at Brighton Town Hall on Wednesday.




SEE ALSO
More money to fight stadium plans
04 Jan 05 |  Southern Counties
Seagulls pledge thousands to club
02 Oct 04 |  Southern Counties
March 'shows support for stadium'
28 Sep 04 |  Southern Counties

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