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Back to Square One
By: Rob Sedgwick
Back to Square One
News From 22nd July 2000
After ten days without a public statement the council leaders have finally revealed their intentions for the relocation of Grimsby Town Football Club from Blundell Park. The council not having agreed to the amendment of the local plan last week means that a new site must now be identified as planning permission could not be given to the Great Coates site without the necessary change to the draft local plan.
In a statement released prior to a meeting by the council next week in which they will formally reach a decision, council chief executive Jim Leivers announced his recommendation, which is to call in consultants to assess the availability of land for another site within the county. He is also recommending that the costs of the review be met by the council rather than the club, who have already spent Â£160K preparing their case for a move to Great Coates. His final recommendation is that the review be undertaken quickly.
The club appear to be going along with the council's intentions but have stressed that the ball is in the council's court for the next few weeks. Club vice-chairman Bryan Huxford stated that it is now the council's responsibility to find a relocation site.
"It is vital that this exercise is conducted with some urgency since a long delay will now leave us in a very difficult position." said Mr Huxford.
"I would like to thank the vast numbers of people in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area as well as those from further afield for all their support.
"I would also now like to ask everyone to be patient for just a few weeks. It is important that we give the council time and space to carry out the site identification exercise."
The consultants terms of reference in locating other sites are that the site:
- Must be at least 60 acres in size and configured in such a way that a stadium, its associated car parking and enabling retail and leisure development can be accommodated.
- Must be separated from any sensitive development by a significant buffer zone.
- Must be capable of developed within 18 months.
- Must have quality transport links to facilitate all modes of transport especially non-car borne modes.
- Must be outside the consultation zones of premises subject to hazardous substances.
- Must conform to local plan policies as set out in the draft plan for North East Lincolnshire except in so far as the policy objective can be modified to accommodate the stadium proposal. For those policies where an exceptional case will need to be argued then the reasoning to be adopted would need to be clearly stated.
- Must be within the boundary of North East Lincolnshire.
Two suggested sites to look at are Stallingborough Water Meadows and a site somewhere within the docks.
So for the moment it appears to be back to square one for the football club. But at least we know what the council are intending to do.
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