Plans submitted for Northamptonshire County Cricket club’s new stand

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Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has moved swiftly to submit plans for a new stand, less than a month after securing a £1 million loan to pay for it.

The county is planning to replace the existing 1,200-seat temporary stand at Wantage Road with a permanent structure for 900 fans, as well as 10 disabled seating spaces.

The loan was approved by Northamptonshire County Council’s ruling cabinet at its December meeting, and will be repaid over a period of no more than five years.

Documents published on Northampton Borough Council’s website revealed the club has now appointed Walgrave-based civil engineers, JPP Consulting, to handle the application.

The club said it applied for the loan because it had “no cash reserves” to pay for the work itself.

The planning application stated: “The proposed grandstand will be situated to the right-hand side of the indoor cricket school, as viewed from the cricket pitch.

“It will mirror, approximately, the existing Steffans Stand.

“By replicating this stand, the proposal will sympathetically enhance the existing aesthetics of the grounds.

“The reduced seating height will also be more visibly pleasing to the neighbouring residences.”

The club said the new stand would enable it to bid to stage matches in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup, and increase its capacity at live music concerts.

It will also help with its plan to create a business model which is less reliant on matchday income.

On the pitch, the club enjoyed a hugely successful 2013, becoming Twenty20 champions and winning promotion to the County Championship Division One.

There was also another successful live music show, with a performance by Madness in September.

The borough council is aiming to make a decision on the plans by March 21.