Town director: Peaks Parkway is still best site for new stadium

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 9 Jan 2019

Grimsby Town director John Fenty has revealed land off Peaks Parkway remains his preferred site for a new stadium for the club.

It comes after the plans were put on hold while the club looked at other possible locations and then “taken off the table” as North East Lincolnshire Council instead signalled its wish for a stadium to be built in the gap where the East Marsh high-rise flats used to stand.

But the location for the Mariners’ proposed new home remains uncertain after Mr Fenty explained why he still believed the Peaks Parkway site was the best option for the move.

Grimsby Town director John Fenty

In a statement where he also rebuffed suggestions the club could be on the brink of a takeover, he said: “Peaks Parkway was stalling for a number of reasons, but ultimately it remains my opinion that it is the best location because it’s virgin land, it’s easy to develop, we know the cost of acquisition of that land, which is affordable.

“And ultimately, there is a better ability to have an enabling development associated with that development in that location – whether it be part retail and part housing.

“So in the longer-term, and way into the future, I believe that if the football club could make it happen there, all the better.

“But having said that, the council clearly signalled that there isn’t political support for that and that’s largely because things have changed locally.

“There is no silver bullet for relocation – we haven’t got huge demand for housing, we haven’t got huge demand for retail, and they are the two vehicles that broadly football clubs are raising funds from to be able to relocate.”

Speaking in October, council leader Ray Oxby said the authority wanted to place the new stadium at the heart of the East Marsh to help kick-start regeneration in that area.

It came as the Labour-run council entered the sixth month of a confidence and supply agreement with the Liberal-Democrats following May’s local elections.  The Lib-Dems had previously campaigned heavily for plans for a stadium off Peaks Parkway to be scrapped.

North East Lincolnshire Council chiefs believe the former East Marsh tower blocks site is the best location for Grimsby Town's new stadium

At the time, Mr Oxby said: “We have listened to the arguments for and against and my view now is unequivocal - we need to put to bed the Peaks Parkway option for the football community stadium and look at it in an area, for example the East Marsh where there is a need for regeneration, and this can be that catalyst.

“This has been one aspect of the deal that we have with the Lib Dems and this is a manifestation of that.

“My view is that it is off the table, with the Town Deal and other factors around the viability of the Peaks Parkway site, we are now, with the backing of the East Marsh councillors, particularly Stephen Beasant, looking to exploit the opportunities available there, and that is my changed position.”

Mr Fenty’s statement confirmed some talks over a potential takeover of the club had taken place but said the board were only interested in potential buyers who would benefit Town over the long term.

And while majority shareholder Mr Fenty has on several occasions stated that the board would be willing for another party to take control of the club, it appears that the chances of that happening in the near future are slim.

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