'Voice your concerns on new Grimsby Town stadium plan', say councillors
"PLEASE come to us with your concerns – we are here to help."
That is the pledge of Park ward councillors Andrew De Freitas and Christina McGilligan-Fell following the announcement that Grimsby Town Football Club hopes to build a new stadium in the area.
As reported, the club has teamed up with Simons Development Ltd to "investigate the viability" of using a 22.7-hectare plot of land off Peaks Parkway for a new stadium – which could also have community use – and a retail outlet.
Plot-holders at Peaksfield Allotments, which sit on the land, have already promised to "fight to the bitter end" to oppose the plan, while residents of neighbouring Weelsby Avenue have launched a petition calling on GTFC to think again.
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Councillor McGilligan- Fell, who sits on North East Lincolnshire Council's Planning Committee, and Councillor De Freitas, who is one of the committee's substitute members, have called for their constituents to raise any issues with them too.
While their positions on the committee mean they cannot publicly oppose or support any planning application, they wish to collate any concerns, so they can be raised if a formal application is made.
And they already have plenty of their own questions.
Councillor De Freitas said: "We do have to keep an open mind.
"That said, there are things we would like to see being addressed.
"Peaks Parkway was built specifically to take traffic off Scartho Road and Bargate, and it was made clear from its very inception that, apart from the access roads we already have off it, no further junctions would be added – to keep traffic moving. What needs to be addressed is how will that change if we then have a major access point for a retail park and football stadium off it."
Both councillors were also keen to find out more about the potential effect on existing shops in Grimsby town centre that a new out-of-town retail park would have, saying they needed to consider if it would have "a major impact".
It was also suggested that considering alternative sites – particularly brownfield areas such as Freeman Street or the former Macaulay Lane tip – could meet with less public opposition and help regenerate the town.
Councillor De Freitas added: "It's not a brownfield site that is crying out for regeneration – this area is green belt. Do we open up these green belt areas just because there is a suggestion there could be community use?"
As reported, the publicly- owned site sits between the Parkway and Weelsby Avenue. It is mainly green space, but also houses redundant council buildings and allotments, and is near to Oasis Academy Wintringham, which recently joined forces with the Mariners for a School Of Excellence.
Over the coming months, Simons will work alongside Grimsby Town Football Club to "investigate the viability of the site" for a community stadium capable of supporting both the professional game and also community sports use.
The development of a new retail facility – possibly a food store – will also be examined.
Have your say
Contact Councillor McGilligan-Fell on 01472 234783 and Councillor De Freitas on 01472 358090.