A.F.C. Bournemouth present home ‘not adequate’



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AFC Bournemouth apply to retain south stand Image: AFC Bournemouth

The Premier League club A.F.C. Bournemouth have applied to keep the South Stand at their residence – the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England (UK) – in place for a further five years.

‘DAILY ECHO’ stated that the temporary seating has been in use since Summer 2013, initially for a period of five years.

The A.F.C. Bournemouth is a professional association football club based in Kings Park, Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the highest level of the men’s English football league system. Formed in 1899 as Boscombe, the club adopted their current name in 1971.

The 11,379-capacity Dean Court, currently known as the Vitality Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is a football stadium in Kings Park, Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, England (UK), and the home ground of A.F.C. Bournemouth.

‘DAILY ECHO’ further stated that permission was granted to extend this for a further five years, with the consent currently due to expire in two months’ time.

The club is now seeking permission from the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council planners to retain the South Stand until 2028.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council are a unitary local authority for the district of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in England (UK) that came into being on April 1st, 2019. It was created from the areas that were previously administered by the unitary authorities of Bournemouth and Poole and the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch.

After completing a takeover of the club in late 2022, the American businessman Bill Foley said ‘The Cherries’ current home “is not adequate” for the Dorset outfit.

Chairman Foley said the training ground development at Canford Magna (village in Dorset, England) must be resolved before attention can turn to looking at the stadium situation.

A letter submitted to the local authority as part of the planning application on behalf of ‘The Cherries’ by the British real estate services company Savills says it is “imperative” that the South Stand is retained.

The letter by Associate Philip Saunders says, “The current South Stand is a durable, presentable and well-maintained structure. It has been in safe use for almost 10 years now and is unobtrusive in its surroundings. There would be no planning benefit in requiring a removal of the South Stand at this time. There is a clear and continuing need for the South Stand. The Vitality Stadium has by far the smallest capacity of any Premier League Ground and only a handful of current Championship clubs have a lower capacity. The retention of the South Stand means that the total capacity of the Vitality Stadium will remain below that originally consented in 1996.”

The application is currently being assessed by Council planning officers.

As reported, work restarted on the new training ground at Canford Magna earlier this season.

Speaking about the stadium situation in December 2022, Foley stated, “I would love to stay here and improve this stadium and maybe look at a transaction with the ownership to acquire the stadium. I am just not sure that is going to work for us. I really believe that we need a facility that is first class, which is up to date, which has got the right hospitality assets. We have many seats, we have the right premium seating and our feeling internally is really that probably takes a new stadium but we haven’t made that decision. We are still open-minded.”

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