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Eddie Mitchell defies planning officers as work starts on Cherries' car park
PLANS: AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell in the gravel car park next to the stadium at Kings Park in Bournemouth. Picture: Corin Messer
AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell has started work on resurfacing the car, coach and lorry park at Dean Court today, despite not having permission to do so.
On Monday, planning chiefs decided to defer the application for the resurfacing and laying out of the car park, asking for clarification on the number of car park spaces there would be and for more details on traffic management.
It was called into the Planning Board by ward councillor Nick King, who raised worries over public access to public green space, disruption to views across the park and the impact on road safety and parking amenities.
But, speaking to the Daily Echo yesterday, Cherries boss Mr Mitchell said he planned to begin work first thing this morning regardless – risking potential enforcement action – as waiting a month would see the offer of £600,000 funding from the club withdrawn.
The club says the work will stop flooding, fly tipping and use of the car park by drivers doing stunts.
Mr Mitchell said: “It’s an addition to the application for the lorry park to be resurfaced and for some unknown reason the council asked us to make an application to remove the bund that’s causing the car park to flood.
“That is part of the resurfacing of the car park and makes more land available for parking. We assumed that was OK and we planned to start work.
“I have to presume it’s the case and we can get on and start resurfacing it.
“That’s what we’re going to do; we do not want to cancel.
“The biggest concern to me is funding was made available to start now and if it’s deferred for a month that’s going to be withdrawn.”
The application had been recommended for approval, with planning officers saying it would bring a formal parking layout and new landscaped areas.
Cllr David Kelsey, Planning Board chairman, said members wanted more details on how match day parking would be accommodated.
“We are concerned that a loss of car park spaces in the area would lead to parking on local roads during match days,” he said.
“This could inconvenience King’s Park and Littledown residents and this was the basis of our decision to defer.
“We need clarity from the club on what agreements they will put in place to provide parking while their works take place,” the councillor added.