Cray Wanderers chairman Gary Hillman: London’s oldest Football Club needs a ground for their very survival we are hoping that London Mayor Sadiq Khan doesn’t forget about the grass roots of football

Sunday 26th March 2017

CRAY WANDERERS chairman Gary Hillman has urged London Mayor Sadiq Khan not to kill off London’s oldest football club.

The Wands play at the eighth-tier of English football in the Ryman League Division One South and warns Mr Khan that by not backing the club’s ambitions to build a football stadium in Chislehurst will end 157-years of a proud football history.

The club’s planning team met with the Greater London Authority at City Hall last Thursday for a pre-application meeting to discuss the new revised scheme, which they now feel addresses the reasons why Mr Khan directed Bromley Council to refuse the club’s previous application.

The club’s new proposal now has:

  • A reduction in previously developed land on the site
  • A reduction in residential and commercial floor areas
  • A reduction in height of buildings
  • An extra community football pitch
  • More Green Belt openness

In a statement, Mr Hillman said: “We were delighted with how the meeting went and it was good to go into depth of all aspects of our proposal and the very special circumstances that the club has put forward.

“Although the site currently has a five-story building, scaffold yard and other unsightly developments, because it is classified as Green Belt we need to respect this and deal with all issues that this brings in planning terms.

“Therefore, with the new lower height massing of the buildings we are demonstrating that we can improve the openness of the Green Belt and at the same time being in a much-needed facilities for the club and all the community.

“We are pleased with The Mayor’s plans to make London “The Sporting Capital of the World”, and has proven this with his positive decisions with AFC Wimbledon’s and Chelsea Football Club’s new stadium.

“So as London’s oldest Football Club needing a ground for their very survival we are hoping that he doesn’t forget about the grass roots of football.”

The club are looking to submit this new application within 4-6 weeks.

Former Cray Wanderers footballer Simon Osborn, 45, who has played Premier League, Football League and non-league football during his career and lives locally in Bickley, in Bromley, has backed the club’s stadium plans. will continue the fight to ensure Cray Wanderers are playing football in their own stadium.

It is now up to Mr Khan to do the right thing and give Cray Wanderers the go-ahead.

A local non-league football club does more for its community than a Russian owned Premier League football club.

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