In an exclusive interview, Iron chairman Peter Swann spoke to IRON BRU about the current situation regarding the redevelopment of Glanford Park.
BRU: So, the ground redevelopment, where are we at with that now?
Peter Swann: I’ll be quite clear, Lincolnshire Lakes you all know, regardless of what’s been said has fallen down around the council’s ears, that will come to light into next year. We believe that really that project was at the heart of a new Scunthorpe. I had a planning application to just move my stadium there.
You’ve got two roundabouts, a southern roundabout between 13 and 18 million pounds, imagine the complexities of that particular roundabout which enables this one to our stadium to be 3-4m, we got a grant for 2m from the council, but they hadn’t sorted out the southern roundabout. Which meant to have a roundabout of similar quality, we’d have to spend 13-18m for a roundabout to our stadium. So, we were in a position where we had to step away.
I could have said, ‘Sorry, I’m not having any of this, the club’s in a great position, I’ll go, someone else will drop in and hopefully will put a few quid in.’ That didn’t happen because I stuck at it. The only other thing I can do now is build on here (GP). By trying to improve the facilities we’ve got, because that (Lakes project) isn’t going to be built for years, if ever. So, we now have to look after ourselves. The downside of that is we’re having to build on retail land, good quality land, so we lose the value of our land by having to build on it, which is a real shame.
We’ve put two planning applications in. One is outlined for 160 apartments, one and two bed on the northern side, they’ll be available to anybody really, doctors, nurses, students, that was put in this September in-line with the other application.
The stadium went in at the same time, we’ve paid close to 70 grand for this planning application, which should have been determined on November the 3rd, there were no public objections, the only two objections we had were the Environment Agency, for flooding, which is quite embarrassing for them, and the Highways Agency for parking, we have been constantly asking the council for details and they haven’t been coming back. We find ourselves now, 2 months after a 13-week determination date, with no answers, for no particular reason.
They haven’t been answering us, they haven’t been telling us. It shouldn’t be an issue with the car parking capacity, we should have enough. We keep asking them, what do you need from us, and they haven’t been telling us. It’s a delaying tactic by the council, for some particular reason only known to them. I think they really need to answer why they are delaying. We’ve already talked to the Environment Agency about the flood risk.
There is not a flood risk issue to this stadium here, not at all. It looks like the EA have seen sense, they understand and we have been talking to them. The car parking is the frustrating one, why are we being held up because the council and the Highways Agency have turned around and said you need more car parking spaces, for what?
That’s the only thing holding us up, we’re ready to start work on the stand, we’ve got potential leases ready to go, with 65,000 square feet of office space as well, with that you get a new concourse and new seating and everything else.
We need more support from the local council, they don’t seem to care about the football club. I expect a decision to be made in January, we can force it and ask them to determine it, but we’ve tried to be patient with them.
You can listen to the full interview on Episode 8 of the Iron Bru Podcast; The Peter Swann Special.