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Cuckoo Farm is target site for new U's ground

Cuckoo Farm is the chosen site for the new Colchester United stadium.

Councillors will meet in private on Monday to discuss the plan but the Gazette can reveal today they are being asked to approve the Cuckoo Farm site, across the A12 north of Severalls Hospital.

If given the go-ahead on Monday, the new stadium - which will be a joint-use community centre as well as football stadium - could be up and running by 2002.

Last month the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions gave permission for the northern approaches relief road to be built from Turner Road through to land by Severalls Hospital which meant if the new U's ground was built at Cuckoo Farm it would be more accessible.

And there are plans on the table to construct a new junction off the A12 to the east of the A134 between the Boxted Road and Severalls Lane flyovers. This would join the Cuckoo Farm site.

In August, members of the council's land resources sub-committee earmarked Cuckoo Farm for the community sports stadium which will house the U's ground.

An alternative site at Stanway has been previously looked into but the land parcel at Cuckoo Farm is council-owned and will probably be a cheaper option than buying from a private landowner.

Consultants Kirklees McAlpine Stadia were called in to draw up a design for the ground, and line up potential partnerships with private companies to help fund it.

They, along with members of the Colchester United board, will be at Monday's meeting, held in private because of the commercial sensitivity of the project.

It is yet to be worked out exactly what will be at the community stadium alongside the U's ground, but ideas already mooted have included a greyhound racing track.

Converted for the new archive on 19 November 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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