Last year I featured a guest post from Josh Forrester, a local resident who opposes Grimsby Town’s proposed move to a new community stadium at Peaks Parkway. Earlier this week North East Lincolnshire Council confirmed approval had been granted to allow Town a 12-month period of exclusivity to try and firm up plans for a new ground. This has again been met with opposition from local residents and their ward councillor Andrew DeFreitas. Yesterday a new group was set up ‘Yes to Peaks Parkway’ to show their support for the project. As a guest post for today’s blog, the group explain why they feel Peaks Parkway is the right site for a new ground.
Ever since I’ve supported the Mariners there has been a desire to relocate to a more modern facility; One that would generate income on a daily basis, provide a more pleasant experience for both home and away supporters and to bring stability for the future of the football club.
There have been many sites mooted over the years; the docks, Macaulay Street Tip and most prominently the site at Great Coates. Whilst all of these sites have their merits they all ultimately have their failings, the biggest one of all is that the land would need to be purchased at a commercial rate, something which is simply not viable for the football club. So, when people say “what about Great Coates, what about the Docks??” the truth of the matter is that it simply isn’t ever going to happen at these sites.
Which leads me nicely onto the proposed site at Peaks Parkway. The council have clearly earmarked this site for development, whether it is the football club that take this up or not, given that this is the site they have suggested. After so many years of yearning for the council to help in our aim to relocate, finally they are trying to move the project forward by working with the club on a potential site. It would appear that the council haven’t offered any alternatives, not Great Coates, not Freeman Street, it is ultimately Peaks Parkway that has been offered to the club for the project.
NIMBYism is a trait of human nature, wherever the proposed stadium is to be built there would always be those who’d object. But if the people of Grimsby really want this football club to survive past the next 2-3 seasons (and it won’t if we don’t relocate) then we can’t keep saying “NO” and instead we need to start asking the question “How can we make this work for everyone”?
I’d also ask the question of what exactly some of these people are objecting to? There are no detailed plans drawn up at this stage and I’d argue the following points;
* It is clear to any educated individual that there would be no access to the stadium from residential areas off Weelsby Road;
* Football matches would never clash with services at the crematorium;
* I’d also question whether the sound generated from a 14,000 seater stadium would travel as far as the crematorium;
* Would traffic really be such a big issue? There is rarely any congestion before matches in the current location (similar roads service Blundell Park) and after games the congestion rarely lasts more than 20-30 mins. We’re hardly talking about building Wembley there!
I also think people need to open their eyes to the wider benefits which a new development would bring. It would help put Grimsby back on the map, rejuvenate what is a increasing becoming a run down town with a bad reputation both locally and nationally. The proposed community hub which has been suggested would be a place to be used by the entire population of Grimsby and NE Lincs, not just the football club.
Getting as far down the line as obtaining planning permission at the Great Coates site is probably the biggest headache for Grimsby Town and the Council on this issue, because opponents will always cite this as an alternative. What we need to realise if we are going to successfully relocate is that Great Coates simply isn’t an alternative, it is not a viable option due to the cost of the land. The fans of Grimsby Town and the people of Grimsby in general need to ask themselves the question, do they want to see GTFC play at the proposed site off Peaks Parkway in 5 years time or do they want to not have a football club in 5 years time? Standing by and allowing such an important part of our town disappear would in my opinion be an absolute travesty.
I started the petition because I’m growing tired of picking up the newspaper, turning on the local TV news and seeing the same old councillors holding this town back with their negativity and refusal to even acknowledge the importance of the football club to this town. The councillor who has collected 450 signatures in “just 7 days” (the same amount in our campaign took less than 6 hours) and now claims Great Coates would be a better option is the very same councillor who did his upmost to block that move all those years ago. I wonder sometimes if certain people in power in our local authority are hell bent on holding this town back.
I’m not expecting the petition to make the council think “right let’s just build the thing” I just wanted to give the people who really want this town and it’s football club to prosper again to have their voices heard in the same way as the NIMBYs are having theirs heard.
You can sign the petition at: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/north-east-lincolnshire-council-say-yes-to-a-new-stadium-for-gtfc-on-the-peaks-parkway-site?share_id=UIjwcZRUSS&utm_campaign=share_button_mobile&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition