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Plenty of Comment on New Stadium Proposal

November 9, 2014

ConsultDUMBARTON fans, Sonstrust members and local residents turned out in large numbers last week to comment on proposals from the developers, DFC Community Stadium Company Ltd and Denny’s Homes Ltd, for a new, relocated stadium for the Club.

Some 220 people came along to the exhibition of the plans on Thursday and Friday 6th and 7th November, after the Sonstrust mailed all trust members, leafletted home fans and put out as much information as possible through social media to ensure maximum attendance.

Comments on the proposals themselves were positive in terms of the aspiration for a better-equipped stadium, additional grass training and 4G pitches, conference and event facilities, and the potential for expansion.

The issues people want looked at in much more detail include access and transport, environmental risk, the phased nature of the development, and the financial viability and security of what is being proposed.

The developers received detailed comments on feedback forms after people had viewed the plans and engaged in discussion about them with the planner, architect and DFC CEO. These forms are being processed to look at lessons that can be learned and issues that need addressing as the process moves forward. It was stressed to us that this development proposal is in its early phase, after some years of exploration.

The Sonstrust Board is also collating all the feedback it is getting. Our commitment is to work to ensure that whatever happens secures the future of the Club, benefits the community, engages fans, and is financially and environmentally sustainable.

The exhibition last week was a pre-planning one aimed at outline permission to go further from the local authority early next year. The focus of the indicative plans so far is on the ‘what’ of the plans; the ‘how’ (which many people are wanting detail on) is still under consideration, and there is plenty of time for more discussion and engagement.

A statement from the Club and developers makes this clear: “We received a number of specific, useful comments relating to facilities, access and phasing which we will consider further.

“Specifically, we are aware that some attendees wanted more detail on the costs associated with the relocation of the stadium. We understand this desire.

“At this stage, our principal consideration is scheme design and we will be looking to provide a realistic financial framework for the relocation after the respective planning applications are determined.”

“We … will now work on refining our plans for submission of our planning applications early in the New Year.”

As part of this important process the Sonstrust, which has as its priority supporter engagement, is organising a General Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 26th November at the Abbotsford Hotel. Please put this in your diary now!

The main item will be the stadium plans. Planning consultant Roddy MacLeod (on the right in our picture) will be there to engage with fans and the local community, along with representatives of DFC.

In the meantime, the plans can be viewed here on the Club website. Please leave comments, questions and ideas below, if you behave not done so already.  You can also write directly to Sonstrust communications and projects officer Simon Barrow (, who is liaising directly with the Club over these proposals on behalf of the Trust Board. 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. John Cartwright permalink
    November 9, 2014 5:43 pm

    plans look great, however, I have a few questions:

    1. will new stadium be completed before we have to exit our current ground? we cannot be left homeless

    2. I note phase 1 allows for a 1,500 seat stand – this is smaller than our current ground – should we not be building one of the terraces too to match current capacity?

    3. Will it be Dumbarton FC who own / build stadium and the additional development, or will it be the club owners?

    4. are there plans to change playing surface at new stadium to 3G / 4G instead of grass?


  2. gcyule permalink
    November 9, 2014 8:44 pm

    I have a feeling the council will own it and lease it back
    Not a good idea

  3. Andrew McCulloch permalink
    November 10, 2014 12:22 pm

    I can’t really add much to what’s already been said regarding assurances of finance and how the proposal will be ‘phased’ to completion. I share these concerns and hope more will come to light over the coming weeks.
    It was however previously highlighted by someone the need for realisation that we are a football club FIRST and FOREMOST with any decisions being taken for the benefit of this historical club and how it can engage with the community it serves to allow it to build and grow. That for me is the most fundamental question which should stick in the mind throughout this decision making process.
    In the new stadium plans, the club highlights a desire to be an alternative to the ‘bigger’ Glasgow clubs. A bold statement, so how does this move propose to achieve that? A shiny new stadium out of town won’t do that alone (especially if it’s in an awkward location like Dalmoak). So what is DFC going to do to boost attendances from the numbers at present (at a central location in town)? How will the fan experience improve? What will make folk reach to switch off their TVs to head to a game on dank Tuesday night in January??? Convince me please!

  4. Peter McCormick permalink
    November 10, 2014 1:18 pm

    Like others, I am skeptical of the need for the club to move, the motivation for doing so and the funding for the new stadium. I would also wish to understand just who the majority shareholders are, their long term plans for the club and what the ownership arrangements of both the club and new stadium will be before I could feel comfortable with these proposals. As it stands we have a newly constructed, purpose built stadium which meets and exceeds our needs and has never yet been filled to its full 2020 capacity. Desire for the majority shareholders to turn a profit from their investment is not sufficient reason to uproot a football club from its home at the heart of its community.

  5. Andrew McCulloch permalink
    November 11, 2014 10:25 am

    Ps I notice that the project manager has been working on this proposal for 3-4 years though there seems to have been a lack of consultation with not only with the current fan base but the community as a whole up until this stage of “here’s the plans, what do you think?”. Perhaps something more statistical could have been considered to give valuable market data of the needs/desires of the paying customer plus any potential scope for building the club? Also considered could be the views of visiting (away) supporters.
    If that’s something that’s already been done, have I missed this?
    Something of the type…….
    Gender: m / f
    Age: 0 – 17
    18 – 25
    26 – 59
    Location from current ground (BBS Stadium): Less than 10 min walk
    More the 10 min walk but within Dumbarton
    Within a 15 miles radius
    Over 15 miles
    No.of home games do you attend a season: None
    1-5 games
    6 – 9 games
    Season ticket holder

    Please rate what you consider important in a modern stadium (5 (most important) 1 (least important))
    Close to public transport (within 10 min walk) 1 2 3 4 5
    Standing (terracing) spectating area(s) 1 2 3 4 5
    Purpose built supporters bar 1 2 3 4 5
    Public access gym 1 2 3 4 5

    Etc etc etc etc…………………………………….

  6. November 15, 2014 6:13 am

    Andrew, the only thing I would say there is that how can the club consult on a proposal until they have a proposal to consult on? The initial signs on consultation are good and I hope they continue.

  7. November 15, 2014 12:13 pm

    Hi all – thanks for responses so far. Keep them coming. We’ll do a Q&A here after the meeting at the Abbotsford (7pm, 26th Nov) to address all the issues of concern. Important to say two things at this juncture, though. DFC has said categorically that there will not be a groundshare or gap between leaving the current stadium and moving to a new one. Nor will the ground be owned by the council. On the four year lead-in time: this was spent by the developers exploring 18 possible sites in total. Rab is right: As soon as work on the current scheme was begun, the trust was engaged. We did a presentation and discussion with 100 fans at our AGM in May (six months ago, in other words) and have kept everyone informed and involved through the web, social media, e-mailings, phone, leaflets, press releases/local media and now a public meeting. We’re in direct conversation with the club and majority owners. It’s early days, but all comments and suggestions/proposals are being recorded and relayed as things move forward. You can also write to me directly at

  8. Andrew McCulloch permalink
    November 18, 2014 9:02 am

    Hi Rab. Admittedly I wasn’t able to attend the 2 day presentation at the BBS a fortnight ago. Though I see there were a series of glossy plans/artists impressions on show. Would that not be regarded as a ‘proposal’? And if so, was there any ‘consultation’ with the fans up until that point? Disagree on the initial signs of ‘consultation’ being good (which you said in the previous sentance there wasn’t any as there isn’t a proposal yet) but I remain open minded until after the meeting at the Abbotsford which I hope more details will be revealed.

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