Delays for Stoke City's £6m academy revamp at Trent Vale site
COUNCILLORS are to inspect Stoke City's training complex before making a decision on a £6 million expansion.
The club wants to redevelop the Clayton Wood ground, in Trent Vale, and transform the academy in a bid to improve youth facilities at the site.
The proposals would see an extension of the current facilities and the creation of a building to house a full-sized indoor football pitch.
The club hopes that the development, which will create 100 jobs, will help the site become a category one school of excellence to allow the club to attract players aged 12 and over from across the country.
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If it meets the standards it will also be allowed to sign up those as young as five who live within a 90-minute drive of the Britannia Stadium.
But the plans are yet to be approved by Newcastle Borough Council after councillors voted to make a visit to the site before making its final decision at a meeting last night.
Councillor George Cairns said: "Many members of the council will not have been down to the area in a few years and with this being a major development for the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle areas, I feel that a site visit should be carried out before we make any decisions."
More than 120 people signed a petition calling for the plans to be altered to include a new access road following concerns about an increase in traffic around their neighbourhood.
Roger Pedley, from Riverside Road, said: "Nobody is against the academy, in fact, we think it is a great thing for the young ones.
"The issue is purely access. The roads are not capable of dealing with the big buses and the lorries and the general increase in cars. I fear it is an accident waiting to happen.
"I am all for them spending all this money on improving the facilities but I just think they should include a separate access point."
Eric Challinor, also from Riverside Road, said: "The best solution would be for them to build a new road.
"The residents have suffered from the amount of traffic coming down the roads over the last couple of months and I believe that this is only going to get worse from now on."
Les Porch, who lives in Hanley but tends an allotment near to the site, said: "The level of traffic is already disproportionate to the streets and is having a negative impact on residents' businesses and livelihoods.
"An alternative access should be made available to take all traffic away from residential streets.
"Also, the noise and light pollution will have a profound effect on residents and wildlife."