THE future of two football clubs in Chard has been secured after planners gave the green light to changing rooms next to their pitches.

Chard United and Chard Rangers, who are based at Jocelyn Park, have been trying to build changing rooms for about 15 years.

Perry Street league officials have warned both teams that they need the facilities as a requirement to compete in the same standard of football.

South Somerset District Council has given planning permission for the cabin-style changing rooms, which will be between the two pitches and have showers and toilets.

Steve Scriven, from Chard United said: “It means the club can continue to grow and I would like to start a youth team because we will now have the facilities for that.

“It has been hard work but I would like to thank everyone who has been involved to make this happen, especially Cllr Dave Bulmer.”

Scott Massey, from Chard Rangers, said the decision was a big step forward for the club.

He added: “It is a big relief and we can look forward and make permanent plans.

“Without this we might not have been able to continue because we did not have permanent changing rooms which the league rules say you need.”

Both clubs have been using changing facilities at the cricket and rugby grounds but opposition teams have complained about the lack of facilities.

Chard United president Tim Hames said: “This is fantastic news for both clubs and justifies the hard work of the many people involved.

“It makes me proud to know Chard United will live on long after the older generation has retired from playing – I was never sure this would be the case.

“It is great for the Jocelyn area because it means events of all kinds, sport or non-sport, can happen.”

The clubs agreed a 25-year lease with Chard Town Council and it is hoped the changing rooms are built by August in time for pre-season matches.

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