Littleham homes sport hope

PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 February 2012

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football generic picture

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An Exmouth football club hopes new community sports facilities could be part of a package of benefits if 350 proposed Plumb Park homes get the go-ahead in Littleham

Community sports facilities could be on the cards for Littleham if Clinton Devon Estates’ Plumb Park proposal to build 350 homes gets the go-ahead.

Littleham born-and-bred Les Coates, Exiles Football Club manager, has held talks with the land owner: floating the idea of releasing a plot of land, and also creating a series of football pitches and purpose-built clubhouse.

Mr Coates, 48, of Salisbury Road, said the facilities would be a non-profit making venture to benefit the whole community.

Clinton Devon Estates said it welcomed Mr Coates’ approach and enthusiasm over the Plumb Park proposal.

John Varley, estates director for Clinton Devon Estates, said: “We have pledged to reinvest the majority of capital released by the Plumb Park development back into the community and also into farming and business parks locally.

“The football club is one of a number of excellent community groups that could benefit from the scheme, especially as training facilities are in such great demand from local men’s and women’s teams as well as young footballers.

“We are very grateful for the ideas, information and feedback from visionary people like Mr Coates who are helping to shape plans for Plumb Park, for Exmouth and for the next generation.”

Grandfather-of-nine Mr Coates said: “I am aiming to regenerate the community. I am fed up with Exmouth becoming a glorified OAP home.

“I am wholly supportive of what Clinton Devon Estates are doing.

“If East Devon District Council agrees to 350 homes rather than 190 there would be a distinct possibility this could happen.

“There would be certain provisos that have got to be looked at by Clinton Devon Estates for the community.”

The football club’s vision includes a full-size football pitch, an all-weather surface for training and five-a-side games, a smaller pitch for junior matches and a clubhouse with showers, changing rooms, kitchen, bar and toilets.

The club says its aim is to bring the community together and make football accessible to all ages, for both sexes, in a safe environment.

Mr Coates said Littleham Primary School, where two of his grandchildren are currently pupils, could use the facilities.

He said the all-weather floodlit pitch could also be hired out.

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