Wednesday 17 July 2024
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Nottingham

Talks to relocate rowing club so Nottingham Forest’s City Ground can be redeveloped

Progress is being made on negotiations to relocate a century-old rowing club so redevelopment of Nottingham Forest’s City Ground can take place.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s planning committee approved the club’s multi-million pound plans during a special meeting in July last year, following its return to the Premier League.

Among the proposals are for the Peter Taylor Stand to be demolished and rebuilt to double its capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 people.

The current stand is expected to be demolished at the end of the current football season in May, with the new stand then set to be completed by summer 2024.

But the club will not be able to commence any work on the stadium until it meets the condition of relocating the nearby Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club’s boathouse in Trentside North.

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The boathouse has been sitting on the banks of the River Trent since 1869 and is listed as an asset of community value.

Nottingham Forest may require additional planning permission to complete this work before the stadium development can take place.

 

The premises is now part of the Nottingham Rowing Club, which sits closer to Trent Bridge in Trentside North.

Andy Townsend, who sits on the Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club committee said: “The issue is Forest have got outline planning permission and as a part of that outline they have got to replace the Britannia Rowing Club before they knock it down.

Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club boathouse and the City Ground scaled

“We’ve got people saying we’ve got this space at Ray Sims’ and that’s what Forest have gone off to consider.

“I believe Forest will be paying for whatever alterations need doing. I think the plans are brilliant as I’ve been a Forest fan all my life.

“We are going to get something out of this deal. The hope is our facilities will be improved by giving up the Britannia building.

“We’re just waiting for them to come up with what is next.”

Rushcliffe Borough Council estimates suggest the plans could add more than £800m to the region’s economy each year for the first decade, with £56.6m spent annually in pubs, shops, bars and other businesses.

However if the club is relegated back to the Championship, the anticipated financial benefits are expected to reduce by at least 20 per cent.

The club will also pay £200,000 towards cycling infrastructure improvements alongside £150,000 on highways safety works along the A60 in Nottingham.

A new a 13-floor, 169-unit block will also be built adjacent to the nearby Bridgford House apartments.

Those living and working nearby generally welcomed the plans, but concerns remain over matchday traffic and the closure of roads to ensure safety.

Kieran Harlow, a Forest fan who has been working at MSR Newsagents in Radcliffe Road for nine months, said: “For the business it is good because there’s more people.

“And as a fan it is great. It will be easier to get tickets because it’s more people in the stadium.

“I understood it to be the club had to make arrangements with the boat club.

“I’ve got nothing bad to say about it really. The area needs it. We’ve seen what football can bring to the area.”

Jeaniene Vyse, the owner at Strawberry Cupcakes off the A60 London Road, has been working in the area for 13 years.

She said: “From my personal experience it can be a bit of a problem for me because they close the road.

“But it is good for the football.”

Speaking of the plans, a spokesperson for Nottingham Forest FC said: “The club is currently working through those conditions with its adviser and the numerous third parties involved.

“These conditions involve complex discussions and negotiations, many of which are necessarily conducted on a without prejudice basis.

“In the circumstances, the club is not in a position to comment on them and will not do so.

“The process of satisfying the conditions necessarily takes time. The club’s objective is to secure final permission once the necessary conditions have been satisfied.

“Any suggestion that this is not the case or that the club is seeking to abort the process is 100 per cent false.”

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