Grays Athletic were dealt a blow last night, when the Planning Committee of Thurrock Council turned down an application which would have seen land around Thurrock's former ground at Ship Lane turned into a vehicle preparation plant, and the ground itself gifted to the homeless football club.
Seven of the nine committee members voted against the plan- although given some of the comments made by elected officials at the meeting there seems to be a singular lack of understanding about how the club ended up homeless and about their financial situation; comments which have outraged supporters and club officials at the supporter-owned club. Director Glyn Jarvis summed them up- politely- when stating on Twitter:
'Disgraceful Councillor comments about when we were forced out of the Recreation Ground in 2010. All Section 106 moneys from the development were allocated/spent. NO ONE PENNY WAS GIVEN TO GRAYS ATHLETIC FC.'
The club issued a short statement, below.
'Grays Athletic Football Club are disappointed that the Thurrock Planning Committee voted to reject The Ship Lane planning application submitted by Group 1 Automotive.
During the Committee Meeting, there were a number of inaccurate statements aired about our football club and we will ensure that the appropriate people are corrected.
The club will consult with Group 1 in the next few days and will make a more detailed statement shortly afterwards.'