A campaign group fighting to return Hatfield Town Football Club to the town has opposed £1 million investments plans for new pitches.

The project, being led by Hatfield Town Council, proposes new full size 3G football pitch built, a re-laid multi-use games area capable of hosting tennis, netball and hockey, a new all-weather outdoor basketball court and outdoor gym equipment at Birchwood.

But, a campaign group is calling for a new football stadium to be built instead, one which would allow Hatfield Town to return to return home, and provide much-needed facilities for other clubs.

"The funding was for what Hatfield really needs, a community football ground, that is not exclusively for one club but a shared facility that will allow progress for multiple teams and promote Hatfield too," said campaigner Alan Upson. 

"Even local villages have better facilities than us. If we don’t do it now the opportunity will be lost forever.

"There are already a number of 3G pitches, both full size and 6-a-side, for hire in the town and there is no demand for more. 

"The funding is available, the need is there, and the demand is there for a decent football ground."

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Welwyn Hatfield Times: Hopes for a new stadium were boosted when funding was secured last year, but these have now been dashed.Hopes for a new stadium were boosted when funding was secured last year, but these have now been dashed. (Image: Danny Loo Photography 2016)

The campaign group, which includes managers, coaches of both senior and junior clubs, and supporters is asking the public to support them by signing their petition.

A new stadium would be an historic moment for Hatfield Town FC, who have not played on their own ground in the town for nearly 40 years.

In 1984, the club folded due to lack of finances and a committee to run the team, before reforming in 1989.

Hatfield Town has previously played games at Birchwood, but have been forced out of the town in recent years, playing at nearby grounds in Welwyn Garden City and Hertford.

There was hope for a new ground after funding was secured last year, but those hopes have been dashed by the investment plans.

“It is generally recognised that there has long been a need for a football ground to serve the Hatfield community and the town’s aspiring football clubs,” said former Hatfield Town Council leader Caron Juggins back in 2022.

“The last ground serving Hatfield’s senior football teams was demolished in 1984.

"As leader of Hatfield Town Council, I am committed, along with all my cross-party colleagues, to ensuring that we move forward on bringing to fruition the dream of a football and sports hub at Birchwood."

Following the announcement of the £1 million investment last month, current leader Cllr Larry Crofton said:  "For too long, endless squabbling by previous administrations has meant Hatfield residents have been denied this investment.

"This will be a valuable community asset which will help the youth of Hatfield enter various sports. I’m proud that we have been able to act decisively to secure the funding."