Thomas explains the next steps should council finalise East Stand deal

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Chairman also addresses the Asset of Community Value, which is held by the Supporters' Trust and could delay things by six months

Work on the East Stand could restart later this year should West Northants Council ratify their land deal with Northampton Town at the end of the month.

The council will discuss the details of the agreement at a full meeting next Monday, with a decision to be taken to cabinet the following week.

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Explaining what would happen next if the deal goes through, chairman Kelvin Thomas said: "We put out a document on Monday that everyone can download and that gives out a lot of information regarding the deal and the support we have received.

A car park would be built behind the East Stand.A car park would be built behind the East Stand.
A car park would be built behind the East Stand.

"It will be discussed at full council where all questions will be answered and then hopefully the cabinet will approve on February 28 and at that point it then goes into the legal process of agreeing and signing contracts.

"That would probably take between four to six weeks depending on lawyers and then once you have cabinet approval, you start finalising construction details and when you can potentially start construction.

"Some of the conversation will be around whether or not we need to close to the stand and when the best time to build it and when would be reasonable for builders to get back on site.

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"There have been some informal discussions and things put in place but we would formalise all of that after approval.

"There is one added complication around the ACV, which is the asset of community value. The Trust hold the ACV and they have the ability to delay matters for up to six months.

"We would be surprised if they did that once it was agreed at cabinet but if they did, we would have to wait that period out and close the transaction at the end of it.

"But we could do some work in the background during that period anyway in terms of getting plans in place and getting ready to go. Hopefully it doesn't come to that but there's a chance that it could and those are the next stages."

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Going into more detail about the ACV, Thomas explained: "We said at the time that we didn't think it should cover the athletics track because that wasn't part of the NTFC lease.

"We would probably disagree that the athletics track is an historic community use area. It hasn't been used by anyone for eight years and the athletics club have a new state-of-the-art facility up at Moulton which they've had for probably six years now.

"Our job is to look at the big picture and we have looked at the whole area of land. We have not based on what the ACV covers, for us it's about what is in the best interests of the club.

"Nothing is set in stone but once we have purchased the land we can make decisions in the club's best interests. We won't bog ourselves down with what's in the ACV and what area of land is in the ACV.

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"The stadium site is protected and that doesn't change. None of this is about trying to get as much development land as possible because we could have done that already if we wanted.

"In reality, we could develop all the way up to the East Stand itself if we wanted to but we don't want to. We have looked at the site at the whole and said 'OK, what's in the best interests of the club?' and this is what we think is.

"These plans have been out there for a long time and the vast majority of fans support those plans. If somebody said to me 'you can't do that because eight years ago the club used to control an athletics track that no-one has used since' - that would be a very surprising position to take."