Canterbury City FC and Canterbury Rugby Club will learn next week whether their dream of moving to a new complex at Bridge will realised.
Their application for new ground plus other facilities next to St Lawrence Cricket Club at Highland Court is facing refusal when it goes before council planners.
City FC chairman Tim Clark has warned that the club faces “collapse” if the plan is not approved.
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The proposal also includes 175 three- and four-bedroom homes, a business park, innovation centre, food and drink area, leisure hub and offices.
It comes before Canterbury City Council’s planning committee, which has been warned that such a large development will negatively affect the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in which it would sit.
The scheme devised by developer Quinn Estates and its partner HICO Group has provoked strident opposition in nearby villages such as Bridge, Bishopsbourne and Kingston.
And city council planning officers are advising planning committee members to reject it.
A report by planning officer Steve Musk going before members states: “The sports facilities proposed in this application could be considered to have positive benefits for the district.
“However, this element only forms part of the overall planning considerations that need to be taken into account in deciding this against planning policy.
“The application also includes significant residential and commercial development, which would cause significant harm to both the AONB and heritage assets.”
The report added that there were not enough grounds to justify exceptional circumstances to permit large scale development in the AONB.
Canterbury City FC lost its Kingsmead Stadium in 1999 when it was redeveloped as housing and then folded in 2001 before reforming in 2007.
Mr Clark fears that failure to approve the scheme will again spell the club’s demise.
He said: “I intend to address the planning committee, look them straight in the eyes and tell them it’s time for justice and a yes vote. We have no Plan B and a no will see the club collapse for the second time in 20 years. It’s as stark a choice as that.
“We have spent the last two years working on our community football hub plans and the city council have a once in a lifetime opportunity to vote for a sporting legacy that will serve generations to come.”
The planning committee meeting takes place in the Guildhall at 6.30pm on Tuesday, February 5.