Northampton Town chairman David Cardoza has called the plan to redevelop Sixfields “the biggest thing which has ever happened to the club”.
A planning application is due to be submitted tomorrow, which will include an expanded West Stand, and a completely redeveloped East Stand, with new corporate boxes and a conference centre. The work, which will increase the capacity of Sixfields to about 10,000, could start as early as February.
Mr Cardoza said: “It is a quick turnaround of 18 to 30 weeks, and hopefully we start work in February. We are absolutely delighted.
“It is the biggest thing which has happened to the club ever. It will give us the opportunity to build a solid base over time, have a financially sound business and be able to put out a very good team on the pitch. The more money it generates, the more money you can put into the team, the better the team does, and more people come and watch.
“It feeds on itself. I am convinced it will work.”
The stadium expansion is part of a wider scheme to build a hotel, gym and 300 homes on land around the ground, made possible by a £12 million loan from Northampton Borough Council, which was agreed in July.
Mr Cardoza said a planning application for the hotel will be submitted in around a month, and for the houses by Christmas or early January. The process to appoint contractors for each of the schemes is also ongoing.
Mr Cardoza said: “There is still a lot of stuff that has got to be tendered for and we would love to get some Northampton businesses–– involved.”
A special planning meeting could be convened to bring the Sixfields application forward swiftly, the leader of Northampton Borough Council has revealed.
Councillor David Mackintosh said it was imperative to work quickly on the application, which could be heard before Christmas.
He said the other elements to the plan would take longer to complete, as they were being built on a former landfill site. Councillor Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) said: “It is an important step forward for the town and the football club.
“We have been working very closely and very quickly since the deal was announced in July to put this in place.
“The priority is to get the stadium developed, because the football club wants to get that opened in time for next season.
“We are hoping we can return this planning application before Christmas, and then work can start in February for it to open in August.”
On the timescale for the project, Councillor Mackintosh added: “The club has determined what comes forward first.
“The land around this area was landfill and has a lot of waste buried beneath it. A lot of work needs to be done to remediate that land and that will take some time.”
A deal to acquire the land from its current owner, the Government-backed Homes and Communities Agency, was agreed by councillors last night.
The authority will also take control of a large piece of land next to the Northampton Indoor Karting Centre, in Harvey Reeves Road.