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New Stadium Gets Green Light!
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY TOWN's New Stadium project has taken a major step forward following the news that the Minister for the Environment has decided that the development can go ahead. The club's plans had gone to the government for approval, but after ten months the project has received the green light.
Villagers in Great Coates have vowed to carry on fighting the development despite today's development. Ray Lawrence, who has led the local residents' protest against the proposed stadium told Radio Humberside: "There is still a long way to go. The Department of the Environment themselves are actually objecting to the proposal at the public enquiry in April. The Great Coates residents have put together a very strong case and it will be up to the Inspector at the Public Enquiry as to whether he will see fit to give the go ahead to the site."
In "Ground to a Halt" Mike Worden explained what the background to the Government's decision was:
"After making the decision to change the Local Plan, the Council indicated that it was going to approve the planning application for the stadium. However because the Local Plan is not finalised and because the application is contrary to existing plans for the area, the Council has had to ask the Government if it can proceed and issue the planning permission. This is a common procedure for major applications in similar circumstances."
Town Chairman Mr Peter Furneaux issued the following statement about the New Stadium project via the club's official site:
"We are delighted that the Government has decided not to call-in our application. This is a tribute to the thoroughness of the work undertaken by our development partner and ourselves.
"We would like to pay particular tribute to Gerald Knight who has led the project from the beginning. Without his tireless efforts, total commitment and unrivalled professionalism, we do not believe the project would have reached this milestone.
"After this long delay since the Council approved our proposals in January we now need to start work on taking the project forward. We will be having an early meeting with our development partner and will make a further statement about the timetable for the project in due course.
"We are grateful to all those who have supported our plans to relocate to the new site and we ask for your continued patience as we take the project forward. Today is an historic day for the Club and we are excited about the prospect of the new stadium which we believe will revitalise the Club.
"We would like to assure the residents of Great Coates that we will consult with them closely as the project moves forward and we remain confident that measures can be put in place to take care of their concerns."
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