DEVELOPERS of a retail park in Gosport have been accused of going back on their word by a football academy coach.
Gosport Borough Academy held meetings with developers Millngate over using the football pitches that had been included in the planning application for Brockhurst Gate Retail Park.
Since then, the developer has told The News about plans to ditch the sports pitches in favour of expanding the retail park, after Lee Rangers Youth FC had to pull out of negotiations.
But community coach Paul Davies says that Gosport Borough Academy was also in talks over use of the football pitches, and says the club is ‘really unhappy’ with the decision to scrap the sports facilities.
He said: ‘We met Millngate to discuss how we wanted to use the site.
‘We have 250 youngsters in our academy and wanted the facilities because we don’t have anywhere for them to call their home.
‘It feels like we’ve been stabbed in the back – all so that they can get more retail units.’
Now, advertising boards have gone up for ‘phase two' of the Brockhurst Gate development – despite no planning application being approved by the council.
The advertisement boards at Brockhurst Gate suggest that the site at the back of the current retail park will be used for a trade counter, a showroom and industrial purposes.
‘We’re really unhappy about it,’ said Paul.
This was part of their planning application and I think they should be held to that.’
A spokesman for Millngate said: ‘The approved Brockhurst Gate planning consent includes the redevelopment of the land behind the retail stores as a football facility.
‘Millngate is preparing plans for an alternative solution that will not only create up to 200 new jobs for local people on the site, but will also pledge funding towards much-needed improvements to the football and sport facilities around Gosport.
‘The funding will be sufficient to provide equivalent – or better – football facilities than those planned at Brockhurst Gate.’