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Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Monday, 24 January 2011

Poole Town Bearwood move plan faces delay

Grandstand at Poole Town's Tatnam Park
The facilities at Tatnam Park have cost Poole Town promotion

Poole Town vice-chairman Chris Reef is optimistic that their 17-year search for a new home could soon be over.

The club's plans for a new £2m stadium at Bearwood will now go before Borough of Poole Council on 10 March.

Reef told BBC Radio Solent: "Of all the failed ventures, Bearwood is the one I'm most confident about.

"With over 400 posts of support on the local authority website and just one objection, you've got to believe we're going to get planning permission."

This is not the first time Poole have been on the verge of moving from their home ground at Tatnam Park.

In December 2009, the Dolphins' plans for a move to Branksome Rec were rejected by the planning board, despite backing from the council and local community.

"It is a long process and a complex issue but we're now a priority project for the Football Association to gain grant assistance," said Reef.

"So, subject to planning permission, we hope to be playing at Bearwood for the start of the 2012/2013 season."

Poole have won the Wessex Premier League in each of the last two seasons, but have been denied promotion to the Zamaretto League because the facilities at Tatnam Park are not suitable.

"We couldn't be more successful at our level," added Reef.

"We are a massive club crying out to be able to realise its potential by having a decent home so hopefully the 'Bearwood Project' will provide that answer."

The plans were originally due to go before the council planning committee on 10 February, but the meeting has been postponed for a month.

Reef said: "It's inconceivable that the application won't be heard in March bearing in mind it's been lodged with local authorities for quite some time now."

Poole, who play Fawley on Saturday, have only lost two of their 22 games this season, to sit third in the Wessex Premier, just 11 points behind league leaders Winchester City, with five games in hand.

"The league is very important to us and because of everything that's going on at the club we must win the Championship this season," said Reef.

"If the past is a prediction of the future then we will expect to pick up the necessary points from those five games in hand to overhaul Winchester.

"This is the third season on the trot we've played under this sort of pressure.

"For the last two seasons our players have dealt with that pressure and we've got to be determined to do that again this season."



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