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Planning Dates Set

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/07/2000

Planning Dates Set

News From 17th June 2000

New ground North East Lincolnshire's council have finally named the dates on which Grimsby Town's planning application will be considered again, three weeks after the original application was deferred.

The first date is Thursday, July 6, when the whole council will meet to decide whether the "local plan" (currently a working document in draft format) can be amended to allow the stadium to be built. The second date is Friday July 14, when the Planning Committee will meet to reconsider the proposal.

The special meeting of the whole council was convened after the club's bid to get onto the local plan got off to a false start at a Cabinet meeting last month, mainly due to the fact that too many of the committee had to declare an interest (deemed to be either possessing a season ticket, or being a regular supporter).

The first meeting on July 6th will focus simply on whether the new stadium should feature on the area's local plan (a statutory document produced by District Councils setting out detailed land use policies for the area) or not. The second meeting of the Planning Committee will concentrate on the more detailed aspects of the planning application, continuing where the original May meeting left off but this time with hopefully an amended local plan to refer to.

The club have already invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in preparatory work for the new stadium at Great Coates, which is desperately needed to bring the home of by far the largest sporting outfit in the area into the 21st century, and enable them to be run as a viable business.

The new stadium, whose new name has not yet been revealed, is backed not only by the vast majority of Grimsby Town fans, but also by the majority of the population of North East Lincolnshire as a whole, as was determined in a specially commissioned poll by GTFC by MORI. In that poll only 1 person in 11 opposed the idea of the new stadium.

In addition the club have today announced that they are sending a questionnaire to every house in North East Lincolnshire to demonstrate categorically that their plans are backed by the majority of the residents in the county. Tens of thousands of people who do not reside in the area, mainly exiled fans, also have a keen interest in the new stadium.

Club chairman Doug Everitt today explained:

"The football club is part of the local community and we felt it was right to ensure that the whole community was informed about our proposals which have such far reaching implications for the club's future."
The two dates in July could be of a far greater significance for the future of the club than even the two Wembley appearances that took place within a short period of 1998 were.

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