MAJOR improvements to Altrincham Football Club have been approved by Trafford Council’s planning committee.

Councillors unanimously voted in favour of plans to build a community sports hall, repair the club’s existing car park and erect a new toilet block, at a committee meeting on September 12.

The sports hall, which is to be located in the south west corner of the Moss Lane site, will house a club shop and first aid room, as well as accommodating sporting activities such as bowls, martial arts and table tennis.

The council received 58 letters in support of the application, including one from Graham Brady MP, and 38 letters in opposition of the scheme.

Speaking before the committee, applicant Ian Watmore said the scheme represents a £1.3million investment in the club and will enable both men and women to have better changing facilities.

He added: “It’s hardly replacing a place of existing natural beauty.”

Ward councillor Chris Candish also spoke in favour of the scheme, arguing that while he sympathises with neighbours who have experienced problems with noise and parking, ‘sadly there can always be some inconvenience to someone living next to a large venue’.

“This improvement can only be beneficial to the whole community, Altrincham Football Club has a rich past and is an asset to the community,” he added.

However, resident Norman Heringshore told the committee that ‘enough is enough’ and that an ‘entertainment centre’ would deny neighbours ‘the peace between matches that we very much deserve.

But Cllr Lawrence Walsh disputed that the sports hall could be likened to an entertainment centre or a night club, as it will be only used for sporting activities.

Cllr Mike Whetton added: “I think it’s important that we do support this, I think it will be a good facility for the community and I’m certainly in favour of it.”