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FC United gathers support for stadium bid

FC United of Manchester (FCUM) has recruited transport consultant Singleton Clamp & Partners (SCP) to support the planning application for its proposed 5,000-seater stadium in Moston.

The membership-owned club, formed by Manchester United supporters disillusioned with the 2005 takeover by the Glazer family, has drawn up plans for a £3.5 million development that would include a community clubhouse with function room, catering facilities, changing rooms and a classroom alongside the main ground.

The proposed scheme, which is being development with local youth side Moston Juniors, would also include a new artificial pitch and would retain two existing grass pitches.

SCP has been brought in to assist with planning access and internal layout, particularly in relation to supporter travel and demand for secure off-site parking.

Company director Jim Budd said, "There is real enthusiasm for this project from local schools and businesses, and while some residents are nervous about the parking issue, most people understand what FCUM can offer to the community and want to be involved."

While some residents have already welcomed the plans, others have argued that the stadium would hit house prices. There has also been consternation about the choice of a greenfield site and worries that local people will have to pay to park outside their own homes on match days.

FC United general manager, Andy Walsh, said, "We aim to submit for planning in July and we have already begun to hold public consultation events for the residents of Moston to voice their views. We need to focus our efforts on ensuring that their needs are met and that any concerns they might have are properly addressed."

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