Council boss hails impact of Nottingham Forest ground extension

By Tom Oakley
BBC News

  • Published
Image source, Benoy Architects
Image caption,
Thousands more seats are due to be added to the stadium

A council leader has hailed the major economic boost the expansion of Nottingham Forest's City Ground is expected to bring to the area.

Councillors approved plans to expand the capacity to 35,000 last week after proposals were put forward in 2019.

Council research predicts the project could add £800m more to the local economy over the first decade.

Simon Robinson, leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, says the project will have a widespread impact.

"The economic benefits of the stadium redevelopment are going to be huge," he said.

"Not just for Rushcliffe, but for Nottingham - there's going to be boosts for the hotels, restaurants and all the shops in the city.

"We hope the club remain in the Premier league but even if Forest are relegated to the Championship - it will still offer a huge economic boost to the area."

Up to 253 jobs could be created locally within the construction phase, while the club expects an additional 100 in-house jobs to be created.

The approved plans include the rebuilding of the Peter Taylor Stand to create 5,000 more seats as well as public space and parking.

Documents show the club has also applied for permission in principle to build a 13-storey apartment building.

Image caption,
Richard Mallender is concerned about the impact on parking in the area

Despite an overwhelmingly positive respond to the application, some locals have expressed concerns over matchday parking in the streets surrounding the stadium.

Local Green Party councillor, Richard Mallender has called for a "no fan parking" policy to be implemented on streets in nearby West Bridgford and Lady Bay.

"I think that it's fantastic that the city ground is going to be redeveloped," he said.

"We want to see Forest stay up and do well in the Premier League but there's been a lot of concern within the community about the impact on parking.

"We already have a lot of fan parking in Lady Bay when matches are on and we know that more people are going to want to attend the matches.

"A lot of people responding to the consultation aren't going to be from this area, so won't be directly impacted by the changes to the ground."

Forest will spend £50,000 on traffic regulation orders to control parking on matchdays, with a further £190,000 going towards matchday parking permits.

The club will not be able to commence any demolition or construction work on the stadium until the nearby Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club boathouse is demolished and then relocated.

The boathouse, which has been in the area for more than 100 years, is listed as an asset of community value and the club may require planning permission to complete this work before the stadium development takes place.

Analysis

By Hugh Casswell, BBC East Midlands Today

If the wait for Premier League Football has felt long, the wait for the City Ground's redevelopment might have felt even longer.

But while the planning hurdle has been cleared, it'll be a while yet before fans can take up their new seats.

The planning committee report says work is expected to start at the end of the upcoming season, with the new stand ready for a summer 2024 opening.

The club, however, hasn't committed to a specific timetable.

On top of everything else, a legal agreement means demolition work on the Peter Taylor Stand can't even start until the nearby Britannia Boathouse has been completely rebuilt in another location - just one sign of how desperately complicated this process has been for all involved.

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Send your story ideas to [email protected].

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.