Supporters' Trust express concerns over warehouse plan for Sixfields land

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Nine warehouses are earmarked for the 19-acre site

Cobblers Supporters’ Trust have raised some concerns with the club’s proposals to build warehouses on the land adjacent to Sixfields Stadium.

The club’s plans have been posted on West Northamptonshire Council’s planning portal and outline nine warehouses earmarked for the 19-acre site should the land deal – which is currently pending a judicial review – be signed off. The plans can be viewed here.

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The Trust has said in a statement: “The largest warehouse will straddle half of the old athletics track land, which the Supporters’ Trust has sought to protect as an Asset of Community Value since 2019.

A veiw of the old athletics track at the rear of the East Stand at SixfieldsA veiw of the old athletics track at the rear of the East Stand at Sixfields
A veiw of the old athletics track at the rear of the East Stand at Sixfields

“That would leave room for some car parking behind what we hope will be a completed East Stand but, otherwise, it will leave little scope for future club expansion on land which has historically been treated as a community asset for the benefit of Northampton’s local sports clubs.

“The Trust is opposed to this land being used for warehousing when there is plenty of scope elsewhere on the site for this type of development as part of the local plan and Enterprise Zone considerations for Northampton.

“We question why this piece of land behind the East Stand also needs to be covered by a warehouse, especially when this development brings no discernible benefit to the football club?

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“We feel the warehouse plan exposes a lack of vision and forward thinking from both the club and the council in terms of how this land behind the East Stand might actually be used."

The Trust go on to ask for a ‘bolder vision’ as well as a ‘clear and unequivocal legal guarantee, provided by the present owners, that they will complete the East Stand as part of any land acquisition’.

The draft contract between the club and WNC includes a clause which allows the council to buy back this parcel of land after five years if the stand is not completed to their satisfaction during this time.

Trust chairman Andy Roberts said: “The Trust’s position has remained consistent since we began the process of securing the Asset of Community Value on the old athletics track land six years ago.

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“The club got burned by the missing millions scandal and, in the intervening years, the Trust’s board has remained determined that the club should never be exposed in that way again.

“The club chairman argues that the old athletics track land has been derelict and overgrown for many years so it can no longer be termed a community asset.

"But it has been allowed to get into that condition on his watch and opportunities to earn an income from the land appear not to have been considered or, at best, dismissed out of hand.

“We require forward thinking, vision and a commitment from both the club and council. We are not seeing this. Please bring forward an imaginative plan for the historic community land which will allow the football club and local sport in general to breathe and thrive.”