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Forest submits planning application for City Ground renovation

Championship football club Nottingham Forest has moved forward with plans to redevelop its City Ground stadium after submitting a planning application to Rushcliffe Borough Council for the redevelopment of the Peter Taylor Stand.

The project would create a new three-tier stand with a 10,000-capacity and if planning permission is granted work would begin next summer.

The submission of the planning application comes after Forest in February unveiled plans to increase the capacity of the City Ground from 30,000 to 38,000. The new Peter Taylor Stand is central to the improvements, with work also planned on the Brian Clough and Bridgford Stands.

Forest’s plans were given a boost in June after the club secured a new 250-year lease to continue playing at the stadium. Nottingham City Council granted the lease following “extensive negotiations” over the planned expansion.

Following the submission of the planning application, Forest chairman Nicholas Randall has revealed that more than 8,000 people submitted responses during the club’s public consultation week, with 99.5 per cent of the feedback showing a positive reaction.

Randall added: “Everyone involved has worked tirelessly over the past 10 months to collate and consult with various stakeholders involved in the project to ensure we deliver a stadium that benefits not only our supporters but also our local community and its businesses.

“This is evidenced by the new jobs the redevelopment is expected to produce. Currently the club sustains more than 850 additional jobs locally with this number expected to grow to more than 1,125 when the new stand is complete. This number will grow further to at least 1,450 when Premier League football is achieved.

“In addition to the economic and social benefits, the new stand will also enable us to develop high-quality spaces in order to create a vibrant hub for community-based activity. This will open up opportunities for more diverse and inclusive programmes for all our people and in particular the young to participate in.

“This statement of intent from (club owner) Mr Marinakis again emphasises his long-term commitment to the club and his determination to create the conditions for sustained success.”

Forest will work with architects Benoy on the project. Benoy chief executive Tom Cartledge said the company will continue working with the local planning team at Rushcliffe Council and other key stakeholders, with the intention of the application being heard in the first quarter of 2020.

The new Peter Taylor Stand will receive a museum, a new club shop, a range of hospitality lounge options, restaurants and executive boxes. New concourses will also be created for general-admission supporters, along with improved facilities for disabled supporters and a significant increase in wheelchair spaces.

The project will mark the first time since 1994 that the City Ground, which sits on the banks of the River Trent, has undergone major development work. The project will position the City Ground as the biggest football stadium in the East Midlands.

Images: Nottingham Forest