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Sadiq Khan backs scheme to build new ground for Cray Wanderers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 November 2018

Cray Wanderers are celebrating after London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed their scheme to build a new ground at Flamingo Park. Picture: Local democracy service

Cray Wanderers are celebrating after London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed their scheme to build a new ground at Flamingo Park. Picture: Local democracy service

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London’s oldest football club have finally been given the go-ahead to build their new stadium after 45 years without a home.

Cray Wanderers are celebrating after London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed their scheme to build a new ground at Flamingo Park, close to the Sidcup Bypass.

Bromley councillors voted 11-3 in favour of the project earlier this year, which includes the demolition of a nightclub and concreting over greenbelt land to create new 3G football pitches and homes.

Despite the club being given planning permission locally, City Hall wanted more details on the scheme.

The Mayor blocked plans in 2016 for a new ground, but finally gave the new stadium the green light on Monday (November 26).

Writing on Twitter, the Wands’ chairman Gary Hillman said: “Just had the best phone call ever! Footballs coming home! GLA have approved Flamingo Park Planning! Cray Wanderers homeless since 1973 and now it’s coming home!”

The new stadium will be able to house 1,300 fans, and there are also plans for three additional 11 a-side pitches, a seven-a-side pitch and two five a-side pitches which will be used by the club’s junior sides.

The London Mayor previously blocked a project to protect greenbelt land, but councillors said the latest plan was special enough to justify development.

Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will not seek to block Cray Wanderers FC’s excellent proposals for Flamingo Park again.

“The scheme gives a disused and unfulfilled site a new lease of life, secures a permanent home for a historic club, and provides much needed opportunities for outdoor sport and recreation where none currently exist.

“It’s great news for the club, as well as the wider community, and I look forward to continuing working with everyone involved to see these plans come to fruition.”

Almost 600 people wrote to Bromley Council in favour of the Flamingo Park project, and more than 1,000 letters were delivered to City Hall.

The club, which was established in 1860, plans “more greenbelt openness”, an extra community pitch,and 40 affordable houses.

The club has tried every year since 2007 to get a new, permanent home built having spent many seasons ground-sharing.

Cray Wanderers are the second oldest football club in the world, the oldest being Sheffield FC.

Wanderers were formed when workers building the Cray Valley railway viaduct had a “lunchtime kickabout”, according to the club, and have been going for over 150 years.

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