Lincolnshire Lakes 'not dead in the water' says council leader as Scunthorpe United pull out of stadium plans
Council leader Rob Waltham has responded following Scunthorpe United chairman's confirmation that the club will not be building a new stadium
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 30 Oct 2017
The leader of North Lincolnshire Council has said that the Lincolnshire Lakes project "is not dead" despite Scunthorpe United confirming they will not be building a new stadium.
Iron chairman, Peter Swann, said they felt they had been "left out in the cold" by the council on the project, on Radio Humberside.
He added that the club would be taking legal action against the council and KMG for breach of contract.
But, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Rob Waltham, said that the project will still be going ahead.
Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann says the club will redevelop Glanford Park
He told the BBC: "Before you develop you need to make sure the flood defences are in place.
"We are in the process of finalising a planning application to get that in."
He added that he was disappointed with Mr Swann's comments and that Scunthorpe United already have a planning application for the site.
"He could build tomorrow if he secures the deal for the football stadium" he said.
"They already have an existing planning permission for that site."
Councillor Waltham said that the project would be looking to start in around five years once the flood defence scheme is in place.
"Five years is more realistic," he said.
"That is me being conservative."
He added that the legal action against the council is a matter for Mr Swann and that the council had not received any legal letters from the club.
"I am satisfied that the council has done everything we can do to support his project within the confines of the law," he said.
North Lincolnshire Council leader, Rob Waltham, has said the project will still go ahead.
Read Councillor Waltham's full interview with Radio Humberside below:
“No it absolutely isn’t (dead in the water). That is the simplest answer. There are lots of reasons why. A couple of years ago, Andrew Percy and Liz Redfern came on your show and said before you develop any other aspects we need to make sure flood defences are in place.
“The government have awarded us over £13m to make sure that that’s happening.
“We are just in the process of finalising a planning application to get that in. We have had extensive consultation because it means raising the defences right along from Gunness and Burringham right up to Susworth and then the other side of the Trent as well, because what you do to one side you have to do to the other so that is the planning stage.
“The planning application for lake one goes in next week which has been a long drawn-out process.
“We’ve got an existing permission on a northern roundabout which is there and we’ve now secured the money.
An internal view of the proposed new stadium
"If I’m honest, this is part of the reason why Peter is a bit upset because part of the money at one point was considered to be part of that northern roundabout, part of his scheme but of course we’ve had a bit of a wrangle about that because I wanted to keep £1.9m worth of taxpayer’s money to be retained in North Lincolnshire and he wanted it to be part of his scheme. It could still be part of his scheme if he chose to go where he was in the first place where he’s got valid permission.
"They (the football club) have a valid planning permission for a site on the Lincolnshire Lakes and there’s a long history attached to that. I met with Peter six or seven weeks ago. The officers of the council have continued to speak to his people.
“The last we heard from Peter – there is a history about the site where there is a history where he didn’t get the deal with KMG but that is for him to deal with. He needs to negotiate private deals – that’s not for the council.
“He has got planning permission on that site and he can build tomorrow if he secures the deal for a football ground.
“He came back to the council to say I think I have got another deal now in terms of an alternative site. This is where we think we would like to locate. We said you need to bring us a formal new planning application because it’s a different site. When that was put before the statutory agencies, they said we’ve got some issues with this. We need to see some more formal detail but we didn’t have any more.
“It is a legal process that then has to ensue.
“Had he brought us some formal detail, he would have to put a planning application in and he hasn't.
An artist's impression of the Lincolnshire Lakes development
“In terms of us going cold on him, really the ball is back in Peter’s court to say actually I’m moving site and I want to put a planning application in. As far as we’re concerned, he has a valid planning application.
“The deal in the first instance was with KMG – the Lincolnshire Lakes people. At the time, he was disgruntled because they reneged on a deal. The specifics of that I don’t know.
“My job is to keep as much taxpayer’s money as I can here. If he comes with a proposal, we’ll work with him on it. The door is firmly open.
“I’m as disappointed as he is that he is now saying he won’t go ahead with the site.
“It would have been good for the area for him to invest... there is a plan in process that has got to be followed."
Speaking about Mr Swann's claims about legal action, Councillor Waltham said: "That for me is a matter for him. I am satisfied that the council has done everything that we can do. People say these sort of things for all sorts of reasons.
“I have checked with our executive lead and he says we have not had any paperwork on that.
“His issue with the LEP is there was £1.9m attached to the northern roundabout and that northern roundabout is still happening. Instead of Scunthorpe United being the accountable body, the council is the accountable body.
“The council will take legal advice. I am satisfied that we have done everything we can within the law to make sure we can support a scheme.
“There are some big jobs. Those flood defences are our priorities. Liz Redfern put this project on hold because we had that terrible spate of flooding.
“A planning application will be submitted imminently – in a matter of weeks. We hope to have that determined by Jan/Feb and then work would be ready to start next year on raising those flood defences.
“I would say that is at least an 18 month job. My responsibility is to make sure that the area doesn’t grind to a halt and that homes don’t get flooded.
“We are in constant conversation with the developers. They still seem to be committed to the project.
“Probably five (years) is more realistic. That is me being conservative. My priority is to get those flood defences started next year.”
Mr Swann said that the club would now be looking to redevelop Glanford Park and that he wanted answers.
“It is not ideal because of the value of the land and we don’t feel we should do that,” Mr Swann said in the interview. “But we have not been given another site.
“It can happen pretty quickly where we can develop the main stand and have better facilities.
“We own enough land to do the whole development but it isn’t an ideal one.
“It was so disappointing we were taken down a path that almost led us to the promised land which is why we need answers.”
Swann confirmed that he wanted the NHS to move in with the club as a partner which will be included in the extension of Glanford Park.
“We will get drawings together and our planning in,” he said. “We will do it as quickly as we can but hopefully in the Spring we will have bit more of an idea.
“It is an extension of what we have and we are confident what we can do on there.”