A Northampton football club will no longer have to get changed in storage containers, or use the neighbouring Tesco toilets, after it won planning permission for a new changing facility.
Volunteer run Welland Valley Football Club – which has 18 teams and more than 200 players – has been granted approval for a £200,000 facility complete with showers and a kitchenette.
The football Foundation is to fund 75 per cent of the build, but the West Hunsbury club, based at Ladybridge Park, is now looking into ways of raising the remaining £50,000 needed itself.
Speaking at Tuesday night’s planning committee meeting, club chairman Mick Watts, said: “We have over 200 players and no changing facilities - and most important - no toilet facilities so this will make a huge difference.
“The other day we had a visiting team from Peterborough. The parents complimented me on the condition of the pitch - but then when they asked me where the toilet was I had to tell them to walk to Tesco supermarket, it was highly embarrassing.”
Welland Football club is one of only 12 football clubs in the county granted the community charter award - which means all aspects of the club are subject to regular checks by the Football Association.
But its current facilities consist of three green storage containers on the pothole-riddled club car park.
While the plan was passed unanimously by the planning committee, West Hunsbury Parish Council asked that the ‘unsightly’ containers are removed once the changing rooms are built.
Mr Watts, who has chaired the club for eight years, said just one container would remain on site for a lawn mower and “dirty stuff you wouldn’t want in a new building.”
Speaking on the application county councillor Jill Hope (Lib Dem, Sixfields) said: “I’m happy for this building but I’m not pleased about those containers being left there.
“If they need them in the short term to store goal posts and the like, then why isn’t the storage area on this plan bigger?”