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20.09.07 The final condition of Town's planning permission for a new stadium at Great Coates has now been approved by North East Lincolnshire Council.

The results of extensive survey work means there must be an agreed management policy for nearly 100 acres of extra land if the stadium is to be realised.

The application can now be sent to Government office for authorisation, a necessary step due to the size of the retail element within the 21,000-seater proposal.

On Wednesday, at Grimsby Town Hall, a vote of eight to two saw the planning committee agree with the council officers' suggestion for co-operation between Natural England, the local authority and GTFC.

There is no insistence that Grimsby Town actually buys the land - a step which could make the scheme financially prohibitive. There is, however, the option for the authority to investigate making a compulsory purchase order should there be complications.

Why the study?

Explaining why the study was carried out, planning officer Terry Thurogood told the committee: "Natural England thought the development might have a significant effect on the Humber Estuary European Marine Site, which is a Special Protection Area, a possible special area of conversation, a Ramsar site and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

"The survey's results showed there were significant numbers of three estuary bird species on the site."

A total of 589 birds were observed, of which 500 were golden plover, 51 lapwing and 33 curlew. This amounted to 0.34 per cent of the area's bird population, and was therefore considered significant enough to warrant special measures.

The application will be sent to government office in Leeds next week for their approval. Generally a decision would be made within 28 days of receipt of the application - unless the Secretary of State decides that a public inquiry should be held.

13.01.07 MPs Stadium Support

Senior club officials met with MPs Austin Mitchell, Shona McIsaac and Ian Cawsey on Friday, and the club is delighted to announce that they have all pledged their support for the new stadium scheme at Great Coates. more >>

Grimsby Town Football Club are delighted a planning committee date has been set to consider its application to build a new stadium, together with a retail enabling development.

The most important date in the club's history has been set for 25th of January 2007.

The Board are determined in their aspirations to relocate and firmly believe that the application to develop the Great Coates site is the only realistic opportunity the club has to move to new purpose built football facility. (It's now or never).

The new stadium will be known as the Conoco Stadium.

Salford Reds rugby team recently saw their new stadium given the go-ahead after just six years of planning. Salford City Council actually gave planning approval 12 months ago, but the government held a public enquiry due to the size of the 22,000 capacity stadium.

There are clear similarities between this development and the planning application submitted by Grimsby Town Football Club for a new stadium at Great Coates. In both cases the site was allocated for a new stadium in the local development plan.

Crucially however the allocation for the Salford City Reds only included a hotel as an enabling development to help pay for the stadium. Indeed the Secretary of State concluded that the allocation specifically excluded the retail element of the development.

The allocation in the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan for the new stadium for Grimsby Town however clearly refers to a hotel and retail floorspace as being appropriate enabling development.

The Secretary of State approved the retail floorspace for the Salford City Reds, despite there being no allocation in the development plan and despite there being no proven need for the retail floorspace, as it was accepted that the retail floorspace was vital to secure adequate funding for the proposal.

The inclusion of retail floorspace is also vital to the proposals being put forward by Grimsby Town Football Club. However, unlike the proposals for the Salford City Reds, the enabling retail floorspace is included in the development plan allocation for the proposed site at Great Coates and the football club have also submitted evidence that there is a need for such floorspace. The planning application submitted by Grimsby Town therefore accords more closely to planning policy than the scheme for the Salford City Reds.

The application similarly will bring community and economic benefits, enable improvements to community linkage and will deliver an iconic gateway building.

The Salford City Reds proposals were supported by all three Salford MPs who underlined the importance of the club because of the identity it gives to the area and also because the new ground would bring civic pride and lift the profile of the City of Salford. The proposals were also supported by the North West Development Agency, who commented that: "The development of a new stadium would provide significant economic benefits to the local community, would increase penetration in sport and would add to the regions sports facilities."

This is yet another stadium development (Huddersfield, Swansea, Coventry, Milton Keynes and more recently Colchester United are other examples) that has been granted planning permission with an enabling development to help fund the development, despite that enabling development being contrary to normal planning policies.

Grimsby Town Football Club is also proposing an enabling retail and hotel development to fund the new stadium, but with the added advantage that such an enabling development is in accordance with planning policy as such uses are included in the development plan allocation.

Mariners chairman, John Fenty, said, "Its Great news for the Salford Reds Rugby Club and Colchester Football Club, like Grimsby Town Football Club, they have both been planning for this for many years. Interestingly whilst the Salford Reds scheme has similarities to our proposals, it had a much weaker policy position than ours, even so their local Council, MPs, and Regional Development Agency as well as the secretary of state Tessa Jowell gave their support".

He continued: "This is just the type of support our scheme needs in one last push to obtain a planning permission giving us the opportunity to deliver the scheme".

"Our proposal's offer the same benefits to the community and the whole area as the Salford Reds and the Colchester community stadiums. Having completed the technical work and more, we are now looking forward to some positive news from our local authority".

08.02.2006 A Group has been set up to steer the Mariners into their new stadium.

The new stadium provides us with a unique opportunity to develop other exciting initiatives. Grimsby Town fans have been disappointed after many missed goals on the new home front - but the club has announced the formation of a steering group to help make the dream become a reality. more >>

30.01.2006 Football league chairman Lord Mawhinney has backed plans for a new stadium for Grimsby Town Football Club.

A facility which is good for the football club is good for the town Watching the Mariners match against Peterborough on Saturday, Lord Mawhinney said a new stadium would be good for the community as well as the football club. more >>

24.01.2006 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. more >>

Grimsby Town could be playing in a new 12,000 seater stadium within three years.

The club is about to submit a new planning application for its new stadium at Great Coates, 11 years after a move from Blundell Park was first mooted.

Chairman John Fenty is pushing the project forward again with North East Lincolnshire Council, as he and fellow directors look to take the club from the 19th to the 21st century.

If given the go-ahead, the club’s dream is to be in the new Conoco Stadium with an initial 12,000 capacity ready for the 2008/09 season, creating a new gateway to Grimsby at the A180 Great Coates interchange site. It would also include training pitches, and other facilities to support the club on a daily basis. It could then be boosted to a 20,100-seater stadium at a later stage.

And the recent success on the pitch in both league and cup has demonstrated the need to move, with fans missing out on the big matches.

Speaking of the move, chairman John Fenty said: "We are really excited that we are now able to relaunch the stadium scheme."We have been approached by the Burford Group, a well established developer with a strong track record in retail warehouse development, and have been working with them to progress the project.

"They have carried out initial feasibility studies, taken soundings from retailers and are keen to take forward the development as soon as the club has secured council support for the scheme.

"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 new stadium would make a massive contribution to the socio-economic well-being of Grimsby, guarantee the future of Grimsby Town Football Club and add immeasurably to the prestige of the town."

Stages of the Stadium . . .The Story So Far.

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