‘Keeping Fratton Park for football is essential’

114431_POMPEY_SAINTS_18/12/11''Portsmouth FC V Southampton FC at Fratton Park in NPower Championship 2011/12.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (114431-461)
114431_POMPEY_SAINTS_18/12/11''Portsmouth FC V Southampton FC at Fratton Park in NPower Championship 2011/12.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (114431-461)
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FRATTON Park is protected from speculators trying to develop the land by new planning guidelines, the council has said.

Assurances have been given by councillors from both major parties that even if Pompey runs into further financial trouble there is no chance of the stadium being turned into flats.

Yesterday the city council adopted the Portsmouth Plan which lays out the city’s priorities for development and regeneration.

The plan says: ‘Fratton Park will be safeguarded for use as a football stadium with the possibility for a new or improved stadium.’

Opposition spokeswoman for planning and regeneration, Cllr Donna Jones, said she was sure even the planning inspectorate would uphold the condition the council had put on developing the land.

She said: ‘I think it would hold up in court because it is obviously good for the continuing viability of the city to have a football club.

‘Pompey is well known team and that is a huge boost for Portsmouth.

‘But I would be very surprised if anybody tried to buy it to develop the land for anything other than a new stadium.

‘Keeping Fratton Park protected for football usage is absolutely essential to Portsmouth.’