Hitchin Town Football Club responds to ground relocation plans

HITCHIN Town Football Club has responded to proposals to relocate its football ground, stating that it has some “misgivings” about the plans.

The Hitchin Cow Commoners Trust, which leases the Top Field ground to the club, announced on Friday that it was looking to build a new football ground on Stevenage Road for the club, and redevelop Top Field.

It follows a public inquiry in December, which sought to deregister the land as common land.

In a statement issued over the weekend on its website, the football club said: “Hitchin Town Football Club wishes to respond to the recent press announcement made by the Trustees of the Hitchin Cow Commoners Trust and New Road (Clifton) Limited.

“A meeting took place on Thursday, May 10 between the Cow Commoners and representatives of the football club. At this meeting, the proposed development of new sports facilities – including a stadium for the club – was outlined. Hitchin Town has not been party to the planning of this development and has not agreed to relocate to this site.

“While the club welcomes dialogue about a future development in order to allow Hitchin Town to continue playing football at senior level, the club does have misgivings about the proposal and considers there are a number of serious issues that need to be resolved before such a proposal can be pursued. These include the difficulties of gaining planning permission on a green belt site.

“With these things in mind, the club requires far more granularity to be provided before it can determine the suitability of the proposal, particularly as it will bring to an end over 80 years’ of football at Top Field.

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“Furthermore, the club intends to enter into dialogue with all stakeholders before making any far-reaching decisions about the future site of Hitchin Town FC.

“The club looks forward to further discussions with the Cow Commoners on the subject and is committed to keeping its supporters and the Hitchin public informed of its decisions on the matter.”