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NELC Report Official!

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 30/09/2000

As we exclusively revealed it would last week, the report commissioned by NELC to look at alternative sites within the county to the Great Coates site, rejected by the council, concludes that not only is Great Coates "the best" site in the county, it is the only site which meets all the criteria.

The independent report from Leeds-based property consultants Graham Eve, which was officially received by NELC councillors yesterday, says that 22 sites in the county were considered, of which 9 were short-listed for a thorough inspection.

The short-listed sites were at

  • Grimsby Fish Docks
  • Macaulay Lane landfill tip
  • Peaks Parkway
  • Wilton Road, Humberston
  • Hewitts Avenue, Cleethorpes
  • Laceby Road, Grimsby
  • two sites at Great Coates
  • land at the phase four part of Europarc.

The report concludes: "It is our conclusion that the land identified at Great Coates (the current application site) is the most commercially attractive, and the only location on the combined grounds of planning, suitability and availability for the scheme proposed within the terms of reference which form the basis for our report."

The criteria which the council stipulated that any site must meet 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, so as to be capable of compliance with the relevant Planning Policy guidance;.
  • 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.
  • Must satisfy a sequential test and conform with principles of sustainability to the highest levels of conformity possible within the constraint of North East Lincolnshire.

The Great Coates site was the only one which met all eight criteria laid down by the council to an "acceptable or good standard". Second best was Macaulay Lane which met six of the eight conditions.

The councillors will meet to discuss the report and decide what to do at a special meeting at Grimsby Town Hall on October 9th at 7pm.

NELC councillors, who voted 20-9 against a change to the draft local plan which was necessary for planning permission to have been approved, now surely have no choice but to reverse their original decision and allow the club to move to Great Coates.

Failure to do so would mean that the Mariners would have to remain at Blundell Park for ever more, or more realistically until after the next local elections.

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