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Revealed: Latest plan for Gillingham FC home at bigger stadium double size of Priestfield

By Jenni Horn

Gillingham's proposed new stadium would be more than double the size of Priestfield and be one of the biggest in League One, according to latest plans.

The club has earmarked 40 acres at Mill Hill, off Yokosuka Way, for its new home. The land is about a mile from the existing stadium in Redfern Avenue.

The aim is to provide top-class facilities that would enable the club to compete at a higher level, including a stadium that would seat up to 24,000 spectators.

The land at Mill Hill that has been earmarked for Gillingham FC's new stadium
The land at Mill Hill that has been earmarked for Gillingham FC's new stadium

In addition, a supermarket and hundreds of homes are proposed for the plot, opposite the club's training facilities.

The plans were met with opposition when they were unveiled in 2012 and one landowner refused to sell her plot to make way for the stadium, so plans were redrawn.

The project was further thrown into doubt when the development at nearby Chatham Docks, also including a supermarket, was given the go-ahead.

Club chairman Paul Scally objected to the £650million project, claiming it would scupper Gillingham plans to move.

He said at the time a supermarket would need to be built in connection with the stadium to make it financially viable - and two superstores within such a short distance of each other would not be workable.

But as Gillingham presses forward with its plans, the club has submitted blueprints to Medway Council and applied for permission to carry out a scoping assessment of the site, ahead of a more detailed assessment of the scheme's environmental impact.

Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally
Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally

The planning document sent to the council details a multi-purpose stadium with up to 24,000 seats, a supermarket measuring seven to eight acres and up to 300 homes over 24 acres.

The planning report states: "The development is intended to enable Gillingham Football Club to provide enhanced facilities, to improve the experience for visitors, and provide a stadium to enable Gillingham Football Club to compete at a higher level."

As well as being the home of the Gills, the stadium will also be suitable for rugby and concerts.

Building of the supermarket and homes would begin at the same time as the stadium and access would be from Yokosuko Way.

Mr Scally has previously said staying at Priestfield was not a viable long-term option.

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