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New Ground Enquiry Put Back to February Next Year

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 05/09/2001

THE LONG-AWAITED decision over the Mariners new stadium is that it will go to a public enquiry in February next year, after a government office has objected to the draft document.

The government's regional office wants to examine the entire local plan for NE Lincs in detail, including Grimsby's proposed new stadium.

Chris Holliday, principal planning officer at NELC, told the Evening Telegraph: "In terms of the council and the planning side of things, the planning application that was made by Grimsby Town and their agents is still with the Government office.

"The objection to the Local Plan is to go to a public inquiry which starts in February and an inspector will have the case for the development and the case against and give a view on whether the Local Plan should allow it."

The further delay throws a shadow over the whole project with no prospect of any stadium being built for several years. The news comes on the day in which Grimsby Town FC announced losses of £2.5 for last season, and if the red tape continues the prospect of the Mariners going bankrupt before a brick is laid would seem to be a possibility if the financial losses continue at the present rate.

Meanwhile, the "village" of Great Coates, where the new ground is to be located, and from which the bulk of the 160 objections to the relocation of the stadium came, is making moves to distance itself from the town of Grimsby and become a separate parish again, as it was back in the 1960's.

Campaigner Ray Lawrence says the common fight against plans to build Grimsby Town's new stadium in his neighbourhood had spurred the residents on to fight still further to ostracise the area entirely from the outside world.

"It's given us a common goal, to fight for the villages." said Lawrence.

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