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Stadium Still Possible - Furneaux!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 08/04/2003

CLUB chairman Peter Furneaux said today that the stadium project is not dead and the club would continue in its efforts to see a new stadium built.

He told the Grimsby Telegraph: "We are clearly disappointed to hear that the council is considering (recommending) refusal of our planning application but we are determined to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to bring this project to fruition.

"The new stadium is vital to the future of the club and we are looking to find a way forward. We recognise that - at the moment - there is not a viable scheme in place but we are confident that, given time, we will be able to deliver the new stadium."

Developer Gerald Knight said he was considering making an offer to purchase the site, therefore making it unnecessary for Sutton Estates to be involved in the planning agreement.

"I can confirm that we are continuing to be in discussion with the landowner and are hopeful to find a solution. "We would therefore appeal to the council not to refuse the planning application at this stage."

"Regrettably, if they were to refuse it, our only course of action would be to appeal and then solve the problem with the landowner. The council could then reconsider its position. We would be very optimistic about the outcome."

The problem causing the project to grind to a halt is that the landowner, Sutton Settled Estates has refused to sign a planning agreement safeguarding the environment of the village.

Its decision follows a change to the agreement, with GTFC taking over the obligations of the developer, Chiltern Investment Properties. Sutton was said to be unhappy with this arrangement and its unwillingness to sign the 106 agreement means North East Lincolnshire Council planning officers will recommend refusal of the application when it comes before the Planning Committee on Friday.

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