Scunthorpe United has received planning consent for a new £30-million stadium almost a year after submitting plans to North Lincolnshire Council. An application for 160 apartments at Glanford Park submitted at the same time on August 2nd last year remains undetermined.
This proposal, for redevelopment of the existing stadium, has taken more than three times longer than the government’s 13-week guideline for major applications. This significant and material delay remains to date, unexplained, despite repeated requests from the Club for an explanation.
The proposal did not attract a single objection from residents, the public, Club supporters or any elected representatives. The Environment Agency withdrew an early concern as far back as December 2018 and were the only organisation to make any query on the application.
The Club had been in contact with local MP Nic Dakin and the Secretary of State over its concerns at the unexplained and unjustified delay. North Lincolnshire Council has returned the £56,117 planning fee for the stadium application and a £2,310 fee for its outline application for 160 apartments following interventions by the Club lawyers on the basis of their failure to determine the applications within the governments prescribed time period.
The Club were originally set to develop a flagship stadium at the centre of the Lincolnshire Lakes – a 6,000 new homes transformational development led by North Lincolnshire Council. It was forced to abandon the Lakes plans having obtained planning consent due to a lack of progress and stalled development. The Lakes project has the commitment of more than £26 million of tax-payers funding and tens of millions more in Government loans to the private sector.
The Scunthorpe United Chairman Peter Swann stated: "The delay in developing a new stadium, firstly at the Lincolnshire Lakes and now for a simple redevelopment of our existing ground has cost the Club millions. The council’s delay has prevented the introduction of new commercial uses that will ensure the Club’s financial viability, all of which has been compounded by the Council’s lack of explanation as to the reason for this delay. The Club are currently in dialogue with their lawyer as to further legal action and are calling for a full investigation into the planning delays and the Lincolnshire Lakes."