(Thursday 11th May 2000)
Hillbottom Road End - plans  approved to double in size - picture Chairboys on the NetThe Wanderers' plans (ref 00/05802/FUL) to double the capacity of the Away End at Adams Park were given the 'thumbs up' from local Councillors at the Planning Applications meeting held on Wednesday 10th May. The proposal has been accepted subject to carrying out of Departure Procedures and the completion of Planning Obligation to ensure that there is no increase in the overall capacity of the ground and that all away supporters are accommodated in the extended stand. The increased away end will however mean the loss of over 400 standing places at The Valley End terrace - reducing the capacity in the 'home end' to just over 1,700. Further standing places will lost in front of the Old Main Stand.
The proposals had been met with opposition by The Sands Residents Association but when put to a vote only two out of close to thirty Councillors voted against the scheme that will raise the capacity to fractionally over 2,000. The plans had also been given support from The Thames Valley Police and Sport England who see a major improvement in ground safety.
Read more on the planning report.
Associate Director John Goldsworthy, speaking on behalf of the Football Club at the Planning Meeting, stressed to the panel of the advantages of containing all away supporters in one area. He also responded to claims that the new stand would increase traffic congestion by stating that away supporters normally arrived on coaches.
Whilst supporting the application several Councillors spoke of a 'long term plan' for Wycombe Wanderers and suggested that the two parties collaborated to discuss the future of the Club at the present site. With respect to the restricted access at Adams Park, it was suggested that a 'Green Travel Plan' be encouraged on match days to reduce the number of vehicles approaching the ground.
Councillor Cox, who had attended a recent game against Luton, supported the proposal but made comment of the consistent drumming from the Wycombe supporters. In response, the Environmental Health Officer, Mr Marshall said the Council had studied data on crowd noise and anticipated that there would be a very slight reduction in noise emanating from the ground as a result of the shielding affect of the new stand on the east side of Adams Park.
Although safety was a major issue in seeing the plans passed, the Club will delighted that they now have the potential to accommodate 2,000 away fans in one area of the ground - possibly avoiding the need for all-ticket games and increasing the revenue at the turnstiles. There has been a loss of capacity for home fans but with the 10,000 capacity only tested on two or three occasions since the construction of the Woodlands Stand in 1996, most fans will welcome the change.
The Club have since been awarded a grant of 285,000 from the newly formed Football Foundation and building work will commence on Monday 14th May 2001. The planned 12 week programme of work will be carried out by Scottish construction firm Barr.

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