Leamside Football Centre – Letter

The Trust has sent a letter to The Advertiser in response to their article on the result of the appeal against the refusal of the Leamside Football Centre proposal. The applicant lost the appeal.

We greatly appreciate The Advertiser’s coverage of local news and events but feel that the front
page story “Appeal fails over plan for football centre” on Thursday 23 May 2024 falls short of
your usual standards. Whoever told you that this was part of an upgrade to its current facilities in
Sunderland was ignoring a key fact – the Russell Foster Sports Foundation proposed Leamside as
a replacement for the Sunderland facility, which they had already applied to be closed and turned
into a very large garden! We are not the only ones to think that the large garden might soon be
the subject of a substantial and lucrative housing development proposal.

The appeal Inspector thoroughly investigated the case put forward by the Russell Foster
Foundation and she concluded that so many aspects simply don’t stand up to scrutiny. The
lesson is to come up with a scheme that isn’t in the green belt and drops the flimsy claims.
Attacking the Leamside residents and Durham County Council for defending local amenity and
the integrity of the green belt is the wrong way for the Foundation to proceed.

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