Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
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New Stadium - Planning Application Submitted
GRIMSBY Town Football Club today announced that it has submitted to the Council a planning application for its new 20,000 seat stadium - to be called the Conoco Stadium - on the site adjacent to the Great Coates Interchange on the A180.
The Conoco stadium scheme will deliver 350 full-time and 250 part-time jobs, together with 250 jobs during construction. A commitment to recruit locally will be given by the Club.
The project will also deliver extensive community benefits which form a major element of the proposals. In addition to the coaching and educational programmes which are already in place, including the learning centre and "Fit for Football", the Club now intends to extend these programmes to reach more children. One particular initiative currently being developed is to work alongside Whitgift School in helping them to motivate learning and raise standards by realising their ambition to achieve Sports College Status.
A fitness centre is also being planned and there is potential to develop other health facilities. Talks are also underway with the Grimsby Institute for Further & Higher Education to develop programmes and facilities within the stadium. Local businesses will have access to the extensive conference and banqueting facilities.
Explaining the project, Grimsby Town chairman John Fenty said: "We are very excited to have reached this important milestone for the project. Whilst the application is for the same scheme which was supported by the Council in January 2001, a great deal of hard work has been carried out to bring the supporting information fully up to date."
"It is important that we have the earliest possible approval from the planning committee. Only then will others take this project seriously and work with us to deliver the scheme."
"It is therefore vital that both we and the Council act quickly to seize a development opportunity that is in the best interests not simply of the Football Club but of the town as a whole. The Conoco stadium would make a massive contribution to the social and economic well-being of Grimsby, guarantee the future of the Football Club and add immeasurably to the prestige of the town."
"I am particularly excited about the possibility of the Club helping to facilitate Whitgift School's ambitions", added Mr Fenty. "I am a firm believer that sport can play a fundamental role in the development and social well-being of our children. Gaining Sports College Status will be a significant achievement for the School and will provide further opportunities for children in Grimsby to excel in this area."
The planning application is in accordance with the Council's Local Plan, which was adopted in November 2003 and will be the key consideration in determining the application. The application provides for the new stadium, 1300 parking spaces, a 700-space park and ride facility for the Council and a commercial enabling development, including 150,000 sq ft of retail floor space. New training pitches for both Club and community use will also be delivered.
All the above was previously approved by the Council following positive support from the Local Plan Inspector and a decision by the Government to allow the proposal to be decided by the Council.
There has always been strong local support for the new stadium proposal. When the Club carried out a town-wide survey in June 2000, 84% of the households in North East Lincolnshire supported the stadium relocation scheme, with almost 14,000 people returning the questionnaires - easily the biggest ever single issue poll carried out in the area. The Club wants to make sure as many people as possible have an opportunity to look at the planning application and is putting all of the information on a dedicated website - www.gtfcnewstadium.co.uk
A hard copy of the application can also be viewed at the Council.
Mr Fenty concluded: "I appreciate that the residents of Great Coates will be particularly interested in the proposals and want to reassure them that all the amenity-protecting measures that were incorporated in the original scheme will also be included in this new application. Both the Local Plan Inspector and the Council were satisfied that the safeguards secured by the Section 106 Legal Agreement were a sufficient and appropriate response to local concerns".
The Fishy's view on the new stadium move that was announced today.
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