The former Newbury Football Club clubhouse will be demolished, after a last-ditch bid to save it failed.

The non-league club were evicted from their Faraday Road ground and it was closed in 2018, to make way for the London Road Industrial Estate redevelopment.

West Berkshire Council, which owns the site, plans to demolish the run-down facilities, so it can turn the site into an open space for the community until the land is needed for the redevelopment.

At a meeting on March 25, Liberal Democrat councillors called for the council to postpone the demolition until an “equivalent, or better, alternative site is confirmed and approved by the football community”.

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However, the Conservatives who run the council refused and pointed out that they plan to open floodlight stadium with an artificial grass pitch at Newbury Rugby Club in March 2022.

Cllr Ross Mackinnon, executive member for economic development, said: “Football or any other activity cannot take place on that site until the unsafe structures have been removed.

“There is absolutely no logic in retaining dilapidated and potentially dangerous structures.

“The council remains committed to the regeneration and redevelopment of the estate and is not prepared to take any action that jeopardises those plans.”

He also revealed the council is spending £570 a month on security measures to prevent people from breaking into the old football ground.

Cllr Lee Dillon (Liberal Democrat) criticised the Tories for preventing anyone from playing football at the ground for three years.

He said: “You talk about the football site as if it was none of your fault, as if the Conservatives aren’t the ones who are accountable for it being a health and safety danger and for children and adults not being able to play football at the centre of the town for three years.

“You were just moving ahead without caring about the sport and recreational side.”

He added: “It’s your fault that it has fallen into disrepair, nobody else’s.”

He also said the council is now spending £190,000 on “creating a car park and a piece of grass” at the former football ground.

Cllr Mackinnon asked the Liberal Democrats why they cannot accept the decision to close the ground.

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“The residents of Newbury and West Berkshire must be scratching their heads, wondering why you are not capable of moving on,” he said.

In December, the council agreed to press ahead with the redevelopment of London Road Industrial Estate, which has been in the pipeline since 2003.

It has opted to redevelop the 27.5 acre Newbury site in phases, wants to begin construction in two years and complete the project by 2030.

It comes after Avison Young completed a development brief, which states that 280 homes, 3,473 sqm of office space and 5,400 sqm of space for other businesses can be built during a phased development.

In 2018, the project suffered a major setback when the Court of Appeal ruled the council had breached EU law by failing to follow the correct procurement process when it appointed St Modwen Plc as the developer.