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Ray of Hope Part 2

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 04/08/2000

The council rejected an amendment to the draft 'local plan' but the document is described as a 'living document' and as such can be amended by the council over its life span. I am clarifying the position with the council's planning department to see if a second vote, as TEF is calling for, is possible. In theory, at least, it does not necessarily mean that a result is 18 months away! Once there is a response, I will let you know.

Delivering the Great Coates option needs the club to pursue its case and is fraught with obstacles, not least the will of the councillors that rejected the amendment first time round.

But the council may be able to, in effect, save face and reverse its decision should the football club resubmit its proposals with minor amendments that meet any concerns. This depends upon the legal minefield being negotiated, concerning the standing orders of the council - namely how long before it can discuss once more a decision it has already made - and of course any appeals from the Great Coates Civic Society.

The council's latest position as outlined in Back to Square One should help clarify the future of the Great Coates' development. Should the council agree to call in consultants and find a site that satisfies both the terms of reference and the club, then it's academic as to the Great Coates site's future but in the mean time it remains the only alternative to BP.

Considering the club has been working on flitting for a considerable time it is only now, following the outrageous decision and the resulting public outcry, that there seems to be the first buds of co-operation between North East Lincolnshire Council and Grimsby Town.

Unfortunately, this has cost the club a much-needed £160K in feasibility studies and now local taxpayers will be paying out an undisclosed fee. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but at least many in high places have learned the hard way, as others have elsewhere, that a football club is not just a football club!

Despite everything, the current board still intends taking the club forward. The outcome of this year's AGM is not known at the time of writing, but the board's intention is to increase the authorised share capital of the company to £5M. If agreed, it will allow more supporters to invest and participate in the club and raise much needed funds.

Being a Mariner I'm well experienced to a roller coaster ride on the pitch but this increasingly applies off it too.

One day we'll watch them in the premier league in a new stadium. Well, you can never stop believing in the dream.

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