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Brighton stadium faces High Court battle

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The seven-year battle to find a new home for Brighton & Hove Albion football club has taken another unexpected twist.

Just weeks after Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott gave the go-ahead for the controversial 22,374-seat stadium on greenbelt land at Falmer, it has emerged that Lewes District Council is considering new legal action to block the scheme.

The AJ understands the council has threatened to challenge Prescott's decision in the High Court on grounds that the site lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The move will be welcomed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which branded Prescott's thumbs-up for the scheme 'an outrageous decision that makes a mockery of the highest level of landscape protection'.

The protest is the latest in a long series of obstacles to the stadium - which is being drawn up by KSS Design Group.

However, the team's supporters' club has vowed to fight on and chairman Tim Carder still expects the football club to leave its temporary Withdean home soon.

Carder said: 'It is an immensely frustrating time. I don't think the appeal will succeed, it will just bring about another delay in the project.'

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