Scunthorpe United’s planning application to develop a new stadium and a further application to build 160 apartments at Glanford Park are both now more than six months overdue.
Both applications were submitted on August 2nd, 2018 - some 38 weeks ago and are 25 weeks beyond the statutory 13-week time limit set by government. The council has already been required to return the £56,117 stadium application fee for failing to consider the application within the government’s prescribed time period, which followed significant pressure placed on them by the Club’s lawyers. The council has recently indicated that it will now progress a s106 legal agreement, but the Club has yet to receive a draft of these requirements.
The Club’s planning application for 160 apartments will provide a mix of high-quality accommodation. North Lincolnshire Council does not have a five-year supply of housing land. It is therefore required to approve all sustainable housing planning applications.
The lack of available housing land is due to the failure of the council to progress with the Lincolnshire Lakes development. The vast majority of North Lincolnshire’s housing supply was allocated on the Lincolnshire Lakes but not a single house has been built to date. Cllr Waltham stated in a live radio debate on 28 March 2019 that he had intentionally delayed the Lincolnshire Lakes development. The housing land shortage is increasing pressure for new housing development on much of the town’s green spaces.
The long overdue determination of the Club's application for apartments will greatly assist in alleviating pressure on local green spaces, an alleviation which should have transpired from the Lincolnshire Lakes development. The application has a standing objection from the Environment Agency that will soon be overcome but otherwise has sat with the council’s highways team for months.
The Scunthorpe United Chairman Peter Swann stated: "The continued delay to both applications is simply unacceptable. The council’s delay is costing the Club severely in preventing the introduction of new commercial uses that will ensure the Club’s financial viability. The Club are considering further legal action, and our call for a full investigation into these delays and into the Lincolnshire Lakes debacle that has cost the Club millions of pounds remains."
The Club were forced to abandon its stadium plans given the lack of activity on the Lakes project, at great cost. The Lakes project has the commitment of more than £26 million of tax-payers funding and millions more in Government loans to the private sector. The Club believes that it and North Lincolnshire residents are entitled to an explanation for the stadium debacle and the continued delay of the project. To date, and despite the return of the five-figure planning fee, no answer has been provided to the Club.