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Fears Kentish Town FC could be planning stadiumon Chase Lodge in Mill Hill
A NEW football stadium could be developed on land recently bought by a Camden community group in the heart of Mill Hill.
Plans have emerged revealing Kentish Town Football Club want to develop a stand on the Chase Lodge Playing Fields as a new permanent home for the club.
The semi-professional Spartan South Midlands Premier Division outfit currently play at nearby Copthall Stadium due to a lack of pitches in Camden itself.
In December the 16-acre site in Page Street was sold to the Camden Community Football and Sports Association (CCSFA) bought the site from the council for £700,000.
Councillor John Hart, a Conservative representative of the area, said he would strongly oppose any development plans at the site.
He said: “This is green belt land and any attempts to put a football ground here would inevitably lead to it being eaten up by tarmac and concrete. A stand would be disastrous on this site.
“There were a lot of questions being asked about how a community group could get their hands on £700,000 in the current climate, but if there is a commercial interest behind it that would explain it.
“Residents are already unhappy with the amount of parking in Page Street on weekends for people going to play sport, so this would make things worse still.”
After the sale of the ground in December a statement appeared on the club website saying they had “secured a home which they can call their own”.
Chairman Catherine Dye told the club's website: “There will be many more long and hard days ahead but when we finally lay that first brick on Chase Lodge, then the dream will be finally realised.”
Mike Connolly, who owns a cottage in the grounds, said he will fight “tooth and nail” against any new stadium.
He added: “What we do not want is hundreds of chanting football fans on Saturday and Sundays.
“They are already planning a large intensification of use with up to 600 children coming to play there at weekends, so this would make things even worse for residents.”
John Turtle, the chairman of the Mill Hill Preservation Society said they would also oppose developments there.
He added: “This is a green belt site and we would oppose any attempts to expand the built environment there, it should be kept open and putting a stadium or stand there is not keeping it open.
“If they build a stadium it will have to pay its way and that means corporate hospitality and things like that.”
Diane Culigan, the chairman of the CCSFA, would not be drawn on any future plans for the site.
She told the Times Series: “We plan to improve the site and make it much better than it is now.
“What we need to concentrate on in the short term is things like replace the nets and maintain the fences as well as clearing up the litter and making sure the grass is cut.
“Lots of straightforward things that will not be detrimental to the people around.”