Yeovil Town have provided a list of developments that they would be prepared to undertake as a consequence of the sale of six acres of land to the north of Huish Park. In a submission made to South Somerset District Council, the club's planning representatives MWA Planning have provided outline information on what improvements they would make to Huish Park. This information was requested by SSDC earlier this week, with the council wanting sight of the club's whole plans, including the 'enabling development' that would take place as a consequence of a Food Store being built on the land.
In the submission, MWA confirm that the six acres of land are now owned by Yeovil Town Holdings Limited and this company along with Yeovil Town Football Club, would commit a minimum of £4,000,000 (four million pounds) towards other development projects. These projects are listed (unedited) as follows:
"* Construction of new community stand with a maximum capacity for 2,500 supporters together with supporter and community facilities at the northern end of the ground.
* The refurbishment of some parts of the existing buildings and the provision of a supporters bar in the home end stand.
* Provision of 80-100 space car park adjacent to the North End stand including coach drop off and pick up area.
* Provision of a new safety control room to Football Stadium licensing standards.
* Improvements to the Main Stand car park including re-surfacing and landscaping.
* Replacement of the main pitch possibly with an artificial playing surface if and when permitted by the Football League. This would be available as a dual use facility with community groups and other organisations.
* The acquisition of land within the district to provide 2 training pitches for 1st team use. This would be in addition to the planned provision of two community pitches within the Brympton area or the payment of an appropriate lump sum to the Council to ensure provision within this area.
The list set out above sets out the Club's aims and aspirations with a priority for a new community stand and improved facilities."
The letter notes that the above list is "subject to receiving sufficient monies from the sale of the land to fund the improvements", which provides a large caveat against the above four million sum being committed. Elsewhere in the letter, the club offer to lodge a sum of money in an escrow account that can be controlled by the District Council, and for SSDC and Yeovil Town to set up a bilateral agreement controlling this, the planning approval for the above works, and a commitment for the club to implement those works within two years of planning permission being granted.
As it stands, this is merely a proposal to SSDC, and the initial reaction from the Council, reported earlier this week was that they would expect to be able to conduct "a full and proper assessment of those works" rather than take what is a 'wish list' at this stage.
It should be noted that the capacity of the new North Stand is a downsize from the originally announced 3,500 capacity stand that was detailed in March 2011. In addition, the mention of a supporters bar in the 'home end stand' is ambiguous given that this could mean the North (Copse Road) End or the existing home terrace end of the ground. The mention of an artificial playing surface is in line with comments made by Chairman John Fry yesterday suggesting that this idea had been discussed amongst the club's hierarchy prior to the Western Gazette's report this week.
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