Ten Acres Lane Stadium

The Moston Community Stadium is a proposed new stadium on Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in Moston, Greater Manchester which is planned to be the new home of FC United of Manchester, a football team currently based in Gigg Lane, Bury, Greater Manchester, and Moston Juniors FC. The club hopes to move into this stadium for the start of the 2012–13 season. This is the second site selected by FC United after funding was pulled from their original proposed site at Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath, Manchester in March 2011.

Background
FC United of Manchester

FC United were formed in 2005 by a group of Manchester United supporters following the club's controversial takeover by Malcolm Glazer which led to hundreds of supporters defecting from the club. Without a stadium of their own they agreed to use Bury's Gigg Lane stadium, but the agreement continues at the cost of a rent charge of approximately £5,000 per match. Within a year, the fan-owned club set aspirations to build its own 7,000 to 10,000 capacity stadium as close to Manchester City Centre as possible by 2012 and consequently entered into negotiations with New East Manchester and Manchester City Council to develop their plans. Despite attendances averaging over 2,000 in their first few seasons, the fact that the club only had access to a stadium of its own on its match days was a contributory factor in the club's financial loss for three years (£42,267 in 2007, £40,669 in 2008 and £9,663 in 2009).

Moston Juniors

Moston Juniors are a junior football club formed in 1993. The club has Active Sports and Charity Club status and was the first club in Manchester to receive FA Charter Standard Community Club status. The club signed the lease for Ronald Johnson Playing fields in 2007, with work to improve the site being completed in 2009 due to a £300,000 grant from Manchester City Council and the Football Foundation. Moston Juniors are now entering a partnership with FC United and Manchester City Council so they can lease the new ground facilities.

First proposal

The site initially proposed for the stadium was Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath, Greater Manchester where FC United planned to build their ground on an existing leisure centre and Astroturf outdoor football pitch. The plans indicated that these community facilities would have been maintained within the new scheme. Newton Heath is 2.8 miles (4.5 km) east north east of Manchester city centre and has close links to Manchester United, who were formed in the urban area and were originally known as Newton Heath LYR Football Club between 1878 and 1902. The connection with Newton Heath may have been a contributory factor in its selection for the location of FC United's first stadium. An FC board member said, "You can't get away from the emotion of the location but this is as much about our future as the past and we are a club laying down our roots".

On 4 March 2011 it was announced that Manchester City Council had backed out of plans to fund the new stadium with grants, despite the fact that the previously agreed £1.5 million was close to being raised by fans.

Second proposal

After backing out of the Ten Acres Lane site, Manchester City Council stated that they were still committed to helping FC United build a ground in Manchester in time for the beginning of the 2012–13 season and on 5 April 2011 it was announced that, after considering three possible alternative sites, Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in Moston, Greater Manchester was the preferred location for the stadium to be built according to Manchester City Council. Moston Juniors, currently play on the site and it has been indicated that they will be accommodated into the new scheme. FC United general manager Andy Walsh has said that the original plans for the Moston scheme remain similar to the original Ten Acres Lane proposal with a total capacity of 5,000 expected.

Current status

The Executive Committee of Manchester City Council approved the proposal to site the ground development subject to a planning application and consultation with residents, local community groups and Moston Juniors FC. Detailed information about the new facility, including the tentative name Moston Community Stadium, was released on 9 June 2011. The planning application was submitted in July 2011, with the club hopeful that construction may commence in autumn 2011 with the stadium being ready for the start of the 2012–13 season.

A decision by the planning officers from Manchester City Council regarding consent will be announced on September 15.

Local views
Criticism

The proposal has not received the full support of local residents, with some residents organising protests against the use of the fields for construction of the stadium. Residents opposed to the stadium are concerned that it will lead to devaluation of their property and parking problems. There are also concerns about the loss of green space which was originally gifted to Moston in 1911.

Support

There are also Moston residents who support the stadium proposals, believing the stadium will provide sports facilities and activities for local children and teenagers, improving the overall health of people the area. By August 2011, Manchester City Council received twice as many letters in support of the proposals than against.