PLANNING issues around Colchester United’s training ground should not be used as a “political football”, it has been claimed.

MP Priti Patel has accused Colchester Council of continuing to “let down the people of Tiptree” after concerns were raised about new demountables and match timings at the Florence Park training ground in Grange Road.

The U's have applied for retrospective planning permission for three demountables which were converted into extra changing and educational facilities after the club won greater recognition for its youth set-up from the FA.

Ms Patel also claimed a youth team clash would have fallen outside the hours allowed by their strict planning regulations had she not intervened.

For more, see Tuesday's Gazette