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NELC Stadium Report
By: Rob Sedgwick
We can exclusively reveal that the original copy of the report commissioned by North East Lincolnshire Council to look at alternative sites within the county to the Great Coates site, originally rejected by the council, concludes that no other site which meets all the criteria exists.
NELC on receiving the report last week delayed their original meeting to discuss the document for three weeks in order to ask the consultants "many questions which it needed to raise".
The report was commissioned by the council from Leeds-based property consultants Graham Eve following the decision to vote against the proposed new stadium in Great Coates on July 13th.
The criteria which the council stipulated that any site must meet (most of which are from the UK planning regulations) were 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.
Any site which does not meet these criteria would be almost impossible to get planning permission for as the regulations on "out of town" developments are very strict, but do make an exception for new football stadia (following the Taylor report) only if all alternative sites within the area have been rejected, which appears to be the case in the first draft of this report.
Below the locations which the consultants looked at are listed, and the reasons why each of the sites was rejected. The text is not from the report itself, but is a summary of the details that were contained in the document
Laceby, near Morrisons
The site failed most criteria. The road infrastructure is poor, in essence the site is poorly located to hold development. There were also concerns raised about noise pollution and the lack of a rail link
Cheapside, near golf club
The site fails most criteria and would cause an increase in the Town Centre of its already bad traffic pollution. The concern is that A180 traffic would have to pass through the Town Centre to gain access to Peakes Parkway, and the lack of a rail link.
Peakes Parkway, near the first roundabout when coming from the Town Centre
The site has the same problems as the Cheapside location.
The site meets most of the criteria, with the exception of traffic. The main concern expressed in the report is that there would be three types of conflicting traffic all in the area at the same time, namely: holiday traffic, football traffic and shoppers traffic
Combined these three problems would paralyse Riby square, the Flyover, Lockhill roundabout and Victoria St. The report's conclusion is that the site is not viable and would stifle any growth of Grimsby Port by enclosing part of ABP land.
In all this is the most viable of the alternate sites, but fails on grounds of location and proximity in that non-transport fans would find access difficult (a necessary requirement). Taxi fares from Grimsby centre would be enormous and only free buses from the Town Centre would stand a chance of making this site a possible location.
The report concluded that only sites around the A180 would meet the criteria laid out and be able to quickly ferry away fans out of the area with minimum traffic pollution.
Other sites that were looked at included a site near Tescos and another over the road from the Great Coates original location, both of which were rejected.
So unless NELC come up with an alternative in the next two weeks it looks like the future is Great Coates or nothing for the Mariners.
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