IMPROVEMENTS to Oldfields Sports Ground that will allow Uttoxeter Town FC to progress up the football ladder could be given the green light on Monday.
With the club sitting at the top of the Staffordshire County Senior League, it needs to bring its facilities up to scratch by the end of March to be accepted into the North West Counties League.
Officials have entered a planning application to install two spectator stands, extend the pitch-side dugouts, create a path between the pitch and pavilion, build six 15m-high floodlights and erect a two-metre timber fence around the complex.
East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning department will decide whether to pass the application at a meeting on Monday.
Manager Mark Grimley said: “We need to provide hard standing around the pitch, extend the pitch by five metres and have the footings in for floodlights by the end of March if we are to pass an inspection.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done if we are to meet that deadline, but we are confident it can be done.”
Residents living near the ground have entered objections to the plan, with 13 signing a petition fearing their homes will be devalued by increased noise and light pollution.
However, Mr Grimley and town councillors Alan Noyes and Andrew Riley are confident those fears were allayed during a recent residents’ meeting.
Mr Grimley said: “The meeting went well. I think the majority who attended were in favour of what we are trying to do.
“We are a community club and we want the facilities for the people of Uttoxeter.
“As well as the senior team, we have a reserve team and an under-18 team and have strengthened the links with Uttoxeter Juniors.
“We want to continue to progress the club and develop the facilities in order to benefit the community even further.”
Councillor Noyes said: “The reason they are improving the club is because the team is coming on leaps and bounds in the league and they have to have these facilities to progress further.
“The club is doing extremely well and is supporting the youth in the town. At the end of the meeting people realised that it was a sports field but were told they would remove the application for the two-metre-high fence.
Councillor Riley said: “This opens up sports facilities in the town that we haven’t got.
“I do believe that by the end of the meeting the residents who had concerns had them answered.”