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Planning Boost

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/07/2000

Planning Application Boost

News From 24th May 2000

New ground With just a few days to go before North East Lincolnshire's council's cabinet meet on Friday to approve planning permission for Grimsby's new ground, the club have been given a huge boost in a report by the council's planning director, Keith Archer. Mr Archer recommends in the report that the principle of building a stadium on the out-of-town site be accepted.

At present, the council's draft "local plan", a statutory document produced by District Councils setting out detailed land use policies for the area, says the proposed stadium site should not be developed. Although that plan is not binding, it increasingly lays down the guidelines by which planning decisions must be judged. Mr Archer's report recommends that the local plan be changed on several exceptional grounds:

  • there is only one professional football club in the area and its ambitions are supported by a significant proportion of the population.
  • the relocation of football stadia is supported by national planning policy guidance.
  • there is substantial evidence from legal judgments to support the view that such significant "one-off" developments have been accepted as being exceptional to normal policy requirements.

The report states that although the proposals challenge the local plan and national planning policy on greenfield development, out-of-town shops, leisure development and transport policies, the exceptional grounds justify his recommendation.

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