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Fingers Crossed Part 2

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 15/01/2001

My mind says of course not, but my heart says differently. It's not the team's fault, oh no, it's the fault of all of us. Collectively too many town fans didn't go through their regular routines, skipped the lucky underwear, didn't save the chocolate bar till half time, or wore the wrong watch!

I don't believe in luck - touch wood - but something that still fills me with trepidation is the new stadium. For over ten years it has been on the drawing board in its various shapes and sizes. But there is a real danger that it will actually happen and the nearer it gets the more uptight I become.

On the morning of Friday 19 January 2001, North East Lincolnshire Council has convened a Special Planning committee to decide the fate of the proposed new stadium at Great Coates. The club has submitted two interconnected planning applications and are the only two items on the agenda that will be considered.

One is for the development of the new stadium, resulting from the earlier successful full council meeting that amended the area's local plan allowing the Great Coates' site on the edge of Grimsby to be used for the joint development of sports stadium and retail park.

The other planning application is to seek permission to allow the 'old' Blundell Park to be redeveloped for housing, thus demonstrating to all concerned the football club' strong intentions to plough on as fast as is feasible with relocating to the new 20,100 seated stadium. The disposal and successful sale of Blundell Park is an important cog in the plans.

Fingers and toes crossed and bearing in mind the council's earlier decision to amend the local plan, albeit second time around and at the eleventh hour, both applications will hopefully be considered favourably. Still, if you can get down to the Town Hall, Grimsby on Friday morning at 9:30am and lend your weight to the proceedings with your attendance, it will be more than appreciated. Another historic day, in the history of Grimsby Town Football Club and one that hopefully will be entered into the annuls as the day when the green light finally came on for the new stadium.

It then only leaves a long tense wait to see if the secretary of state will 'call in' the application or let the local decision stand. Your guess is as good as mine as to the action that will be taken, but across the water in Hull the government took no action, and we can at least hope for consistency.

I will be wearing all my lucky charms on Friday morning I can tell you! Not that I think any luck is involved you understand.

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