'Wagatha Christie' judge to make decision on Sixfields land deal

A decision could take weeks or months following two-day hearing this week
The unfinished East Stand at SixfieldsThe unfinished East Stand at Sixfields
The unfinished East Stand at Sixfields

A High Court judge has retired to consider her verdict on the Sixfields land deal between West Northamptonshire Council and Northampton Town Football Club following a two-day hearing in Birmingham this week.

A judicial review was brought against the council by rival bidder and property developer Cilldara following an agreement with the football club for the 24-acre site behind Sixfields Stadium last March.

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Judge Mrs Justice Steyn, who presided over the infamous ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial last summer, has reserved judgement and will make a decision at a later date – which could be weeks or months – following a two-day hearing across Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

The dispute is over the decision by WNC’s cabinet to approve the sale of the land behind the unfinished East Stand to CDNL a little over 12 months ago for £2.05m, despite a higher bid from Cilldara of £3m.

If the judge rules in favour of the council, the deal with the football club can be signed off and legal paperwork will be drawn up ahead of work restarting on the East Stand. If the judge decides in Cilldara’s favour, however, the whole bidding process may have to start from scratch, adding yet more delays to this long-running saga.