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Builder’s lifeline saves our club
12:00pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
A FOOTBALL club has been thrown a lifeline after it was faced going under.
Trees around Gas Recreation’s pitches in Bromley Road, Colchester, were ravaged by the St Jude storm on November 1.
The club has been unable to use the ground because the trees would have put players and spectators at risk.
Gas Rec, reigning champions in the Essex and Suffolk Border League, could not afford the £8,500 clean-up cost.
They had to switch games to the away venues or borrow other pitches, but the first team and reserves were behind on their fixtures.
League officials told the club the situation could not continue.
Dishland, which owns the Gas Rec playing fields and is preparing to submit a planning application for 50 homes on the site, has agreed to pay for the repairs.
Mark Ennew, club chairman, said: “This is a lifeline for us.
“There is no waywe could have found that sort of money to get the work done.
“We don’t pay rent on the ground because we can’t afford to, so if it was left to us to pay for the repairs, we would have been finished.
“We asked local people, the council and the councillors, but no one was able to help us.”
Dishland’s plans have angered residents and councillors because the land is not allocated for housing.
However, the firm has tried to win over residents by offering community facilities, including an a l l - w e a t h e r sports pitch and a drop-off zone for Roach Vale P r i m a r y School in the plans.
Gas Rec will also retain a pitch and get a new clubhouse.
Mr Ennew said: “I know some people are against the plans, but Dishland could just have said ‘that’s too bad, here we go with the planning application for however many homes’.
“But it didn’t. It shows they care about the community.”
The Gazette spoke briefly to Denis Diggin, who runs Dishland.
He confirmed he would fund the repairs but would not comment any further.
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