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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Barnet stadium plans hit by delay
The Underhill Stadium, home of Barnet
Chairman Tony Kleanthous fears Barnet may have to leave Underhill
Barnet's plans to upgrade their Underhill ground have been hit by the local council deferring on a decision to give the club planning permission.

The club had proposed two new stands, new floodlights and improved facilities for disabled supporters in order to comply with Football League rules.

But the council say "material" changes need to be made to the plans before they are re-submitted.

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous said: "I am devastated by this no-decision."

Unless special dispensation is given, Paul Fairclough's side may now be forced to groundshare with another club before the end of the season.

They could also be thrown out of the Football League altogether.

Our application was for the minimum requirement to meet the League criteria. If this cannot be achieved we must think of relocation

Barnet Chairman Tony Kleanthous

The club submitted the application after consultation with the planners in order to bring Barnet up to the minimum standard required by a League Two club.

Nevertheless even before the decision, planning officials had recommended it for refusal, stating that the proposed north stand would be 'overbearing', 'visually obtrusive' and cause excessive levels of noise and disturbance.

Kleanthous added: "The deferment effectively puts us back to the beginning again with more expense.

"Getting this far has already cost us 30,000 and put us on a tightrope as far as meeting the deadline is concerned, with a new application taking at least two to three months.

Jonathan Beck

"Our application was for the minimum requirement to meet the League criteria. If this cannot be achieved we must think of relocation.

"At every stage over the years we have been asked to compromise. In 13 years all the council have given us is a car park."

Barnet were first promoted to the Football League in 1991, only to be relegated back to the Conference in 2001, but they returned to the League as Conference champions in 2005.



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