THE overgrown state of the Colchester Road ground highlights the tough challenges that lie ahead for Tiptree Heath FC in order to bring the club back to Tiptree, writes JON LONGMAN.

Phase One of the club’s 2023 centenary project ‘We’re Coming Home’ will cost around £3,200 in order to complete the lease from Tiptree Parish Council and secure the legal handover of the site.

Once that has been achieved, the club will then carry out a detailed site inspection to determine a full schedule of works for Phase Two of the project.

These are the easier parts of the projected move from the Heath’s temporary home at Tolleshunt Knights.

The bulk of the £10,000 that the club needs to raise through the Just Giving appeal will go towards the Phase Two targets.

The appeal has raised £470 in its first week since going live, money that will facilitate the clearing of the site, removing the old changing block, making the car park usable and establishing two 3G pitches — a full size pitch and a mini-soccer pitch.

Peter Tanton, the committee member responsible for raising funds, says: “It is a big area to clear and there is the space going way back from the Colchester Road for more than a single pitch.

“It is very overgrown because nothing has been done on there for more than ten years.

“It is so overgrown that it doesn’t stand out as a football pitch at all.”

It has been out of use for so long after Tiptree United merged with Maldon Town to form Isthmian League side Maldon and Tiptree.

Tanton adds: “Tiptree United had the site originally but when their ground in Chapel Road was sold off and the Colchester Road site was given under covenant to Tiptree Parish Council as part of that deal.

“So the ground was owned by Tiptree United, even though Tiptree Heath played there.

“We have been going through this long process with the parish council of getting the ground assigned to the Heath.

“There were other clubs and organisations interested in the site but our plan was to use it as a community asset for Tiptree.

“Our proposal was not to use it purely as a football club and that enabled us to become the preferred bidder for the site with the parish council.

“Our ambition is to expand the footballing side of it to women’s teams and youth teams as well.

“And in the long term we want it to be place where other sports can be played as well but also somewhere where village events can be staged and members of the public can use.

“We don’t want it to be like most of the facilities in Tiptree that are closed assets and are not available for community use that involve pitch hire and so on.

“Our plan is to create a facility for the general public to use.”

Phase 2 will be competed by blocking off the second entrance to improve site security and placing signing on the Colchester Road.

The Heath’s Just Giving Crowdfunding page to Help raise £10000 to help Tiptree Heath FC return to Colchester Road can be found at