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STADIUM SENSATION

PUBLISHED: 17:01 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:51 23 August 2010

EBBSFLEET United Football Club is one step closer to a new stadium. A site has now been chosen for an 8,000 capacity ground worthy of a championship team. Ebbsfleet s new arena will be capable of holding major concerts and conferences and will rival any

EBBSFLEET United Football Club is one step closer to a new stadium.

A site has now been chosen for an 8,000 capacity ground worthy of a championship team.

Ebbsfleet's new arena will be capable of holding major concerts and conferences and will rival any other ground in the Blue Square Premier.

Proposals show it will seat up 4,000 fans, with another 3,750 standing, and have the possibility of expansion if the club is promoted. It could also be built with the option of sharing with a top level rugby club.

The ambitious plans were unveiled after a meeting with Fleet Group Development, a subsidiary group set up top work on Ebbsfleet United's new stadium project, and MyFootballClub Society board members.

It was announced that a site has been chosen within a three mile radius of their current home at Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, and a five phase plan has been drawn up for its development.

Brian Kilcullen, who stepped down as chairman of the club this week, but remains as a director and also the head of the stadium project, said that if things go according to plan, they would hope to be playing football in a new stadium within four years.

He said: "We have been looking into the possibilities for a new stadium for the last five years, and this is by far the most advanced we have ever come in making that a reality.

"It is exciting times. The reaction to the proposals from the fans and supporters of Ebbsfleet United have been very, very favourable.What we don't want to build is a standard stadium, we wanted something a little bit different from other clubs in the league.

"There is still a way to go, we need to look into planning permission and we have got to crunch the numbers, the construction is the easy part.

"But if everything goes 100 per cent swimmingly, we hope to be playing football in a new stadium in the next three to four years."

MyFC Society board member Steve Sullivan said: "We were advised that the intention is that the new stadium will be capable of housing a Championship team, should Ebbsfleet United ever progress that far.Additional seating can be installed later should the need arise and subject of course to cost, making the stadium "future proof"

"The architects are aiming to deliver something more pleasing on the eye than the typical new stadiums we see being built today, hopefully with some environmentally friendly features."

Stonebridge Road was used by the club without lease until 1997 when a 10-year lease was agreed with Blue Circle Industries. In 2001 an extension of the lease to 2011 was negotiated. Blue Circle cement was then taken over by Lafarge who then sold the freehold of Stonebridge Road to Land Securities as part of a major sale in North West Kent.

The club were due to hold a meeting with the as yet undisclosed development partner this week.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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