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Community

Community Stadium Move - Years Of Frustration

27 November 2015

Thursday's Annual General Meeting . . .

THE Grimsby Town Directors outlined the years of frustration as the club again looks to move from Blundell Park to a new community stadium

Director John Fenty said: "An immense amount of work and cost has been incurred with little to show for it over 20 years. So we are very pleased the council are now progressing forward in public.

Here's a potted history from 2001 of Town's bid to relocate.

1. In 2001 planning permission at Great Coates was refused
• Following all the delays B&Q, the schemes anchor tenant, in frustration, ironically went to Peaks Parkway.

2. The scheme was brought back and approved subject to signing the Section 106 agreement.

3. The Developer wouldn’t then sign the S106 agreement, as this would have triggered a very large payment without certainty of securing another anchor tenant

As with developments of this type timing is critical, losing B&Q killed the project 

4. In 2003 the club's scheme at Great Coates was allocated in the Council's Local plan

5. In 2005 the club resubmitted an updated planning application catalysed by new retail interest 

6. After lengthy delays the planning application was determined with approval in Jan 2007
• The Scheme was then subjected to Judicial Review by Henry Boot, who were attempting to deliver a competing retail scheme
• In November 2007 the Planning Permission was finally validated

7. In 2008 the Economy crashed and the scheme was rendered unviable for many reasons

8. In 2010 the club finally turned its back on Great Coates and began looking for other sites that could accommodate the club's needs together with a vital enabling development.

9. 2011 the club undertook another sequential appraisal of several sites. Master plans were produced and they were scored against PPS4 criteria

10. Peaks Parkway scored way ahead of the next best option which was Western School

11. The club then approached the Council to acquire the site, negotiations ensued.

12. In 2011 the retail market was very flat and the club asked the Council about the inclusion of houses to enable delivery.

13. It was the Council's preference to stick with retail at that time.

14. In 2012 the club commissioned a retail impact assessment and undertook some soft market testing with partners.

15. Following this the club confirmed that there was insufficient retail interest and pressed for housing as being a likely part enabler and entered into negotiations with nearby landowners.

16. In 2013 a new master-plan was produced to include potential housing and retail to help catalyse the scheme.

17. Negotiation to secure an interest in the Council land at Peaks Parkway took a turn.

18. On the 4th of December 2014 the Council resolved to produce two independent studies comprising of
• A new Sequential Site appraisal 
• Study to look at the benefits of a Community Stadium

19. In February 2015 the club's plans were substantially published and site consultations took place at Peaks Parkway and Blundell Park. 
• Between 200 and 300 people attended each event and their views were collated

20. In March 2015, and in conjunction with consultation for the Council's New Local Plan, the club launched a paper-based and electronic survey. In summary 
• 86% Chose Peaks Parkway (4671)
• 93% Said; the council should help the club relocate (5007)
• 7% Said; the Council should not help the club relocate (401)
• 2% said; do nothing (125)
After wide publication objectors and supporters alike had wide access to the survey

21. On the 23rd of November the Council resolved that its two independent studies should go to a scrutiny panel which will look at the six sites in detail from the shortlisted 16 sites it had appraised

Mr Fenty concluded: "There are objectors as you would expect with a project like this. They are being listened too and for sure their concerns will be factored into an emerging scheme. An immense amount of work and cost has been incurred with little to show for it over 20 years, so were very pleased that the council are now progressing forward in public. 

"It’s so frustrating to onlookers, and not surprisingly the club, that after all this time, there is no unison about where the Community Stadium should go."

Watch the full AGM on Mariners PlayerHD. 


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