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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Stadium protest as Lib Dems meet
Brighton Centre
Football fans will converge on the Brighton Centre in September
A vigil and rally will be held outside the Liberal Democrats' party conference in Brighton, East Sussex, by protesters calling for a new football stadium.

The Falmer For All group (FFA) has accused Lib Dem-run Lewes District Council of being guilty of "anti-stadium spoiling tactics".

The council said it was forced into a court fight over the planned ground for Brighton and Hove Albion FC at Falmer.

The FFA protest will be at the Brighton Centre on Sunday, 17 September.

Campaign leader Paul Samrah said: "I urge everyone who deplores the Lewes Lib Dems' attempts to kill off the Falmer stadium to join the rally.

"We cannot allow the majority view to go unheard."

'Confused rhetoric'

FFA said more than 5,000 residents of the Lewes district had signed a petition which opposed their council's court action.

Councillor David Neighbour, lead member for planning at Lewes council, said: "Albion fans deserve to be given accurate information, not the confused rhetoric dreamed up by the Seagulls Party [the political party of which Mr Samrah is the leader]."

The planned stadium at Falmer
There have been two public inquiries into the proposed stadium

The council said it was only persisting with a legal challenge because the government had not promised that all its objections would be properly considered when the stadium planning decision was re-taken.

It was originally green-lighted by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in October 2005, but that consent was then withdrawn because of an error in the approval letter.

Mr Neighbour said: "We all know John Prescott's decision has been discredited and will be quashed.

"However, we need all the issues sorted out once and for all. The High Court will look at each of the points in our challenge and decide whether or not they are justifiable."

Because it has had no government assurances on the matter, the council wants the High Court to rule on how the planning application should be dealt with when it goes back to Ruth Kelly, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

A hearing is scheduled for 5 and 6 December.


SEE ALSO
Date set for stadium court ruling
20 Jul 06 |  Southern Counties
Court to rule on Brighton stadium
06 Jun 06 |  Southern Counties
Club's fans form political party
05 Jun 06 |  Southern Counties
Delay for Brighton stadium plan
07 Apr 06 |  Brighton
Prescott 'compromised' on stadium
31 Dec 05 |  Southern Counties
Legal challenge over stadium plan
24 Nov 05 |  Southern Counties

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