Developers want to back out of plans to replace Louth football facilities

A view of the site.
A view of the site.

A developer looking to tear down the former home of Louth Town Football club and build 54 homes wants to back out of an agreement to replace the lost sports facilities, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

GBM UK has submitted documents to East Lindsey District Council which say plans for a sports facility, approved in 2014, were “no longer needed”, however, the club says it is still “desperately trying to get back into Louth”.

An overview of the site

An overview of the site

ELDC asked for new facilities to be built as part of GBM’s outline application for 98 homes on Park Avenue when it was granted in 2016.

The developer is now looking for permission to build 54 homes on the site instead.

GBM UK say the original sports facility plans have expired, and no other proposals exist – preventing the condition from being carried out.

Instead, they propose a £49,000 contribution towards ELDC’s plans to enhance facilities on London Road.

It says Louth “no longer has a team playing at the level which justified the requirement” due to the club’s position in a lower league level.

The club currently plays at Saltfleetby in the Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire Football League – which GBM said “caters” for the team’s requirements.

However, club chairman Stephen Clark said it was a lack of facilities such as floodlights which were holding them back.

“We’re desperately trying to get back into Louth. We have got players around here, but they can’t go anywhere to play,” he said.

“We haven’t been looking for anywhere in town to get a new ground because they’re supposed to be providing one.”

He said skilled players were travelling further afield to play at an elevated level.

He added the club had made Saltfleetby “viable” and would be able to do so in a town centre location, but had not been asked.

The Park Avenue ground has not been used officially since March 2014.

In August 2016 an arson attack destroyed the stand and former social club.

In May, a similar plan submitted by Gleeson Homes was rejected after council bosses said the loss of two football pitches would have a “harmful impact” on the area and were critical “no alternatives” had been proposed.