The View from Edgar Street: director Bob Pritchard discusses ground redevelopment (From Hereford Times)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
The View from Edgar Street: director Bob Pritchard discusses ground redevelopment
2:00pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
SINCE my involvement in the new year, the club are now making some progress on the leases and stadium redevelopment .
Two months have passed, but the full picture is developing after meetings with the club’s solicitors and commercial agents, Herefordshire Council, Hereford Futures and the social housing association that are working on the Merton Meadow car-park housing scheme.
The football club has two leases covering the stadium land until 2020.
To progress with the development opportunities offered by the council, we propose to enter into three new leases for a period of 30 years followed by further leases for an additional 220 years, on the successful appointment and agreement of terms with developers for land at the Blackfriars End and the Meadow End.
With separate leases at the Blackfriars End and Meadow End, it will be easier to transfer the land under lease to the successful developer.
A land exchange is taking place with the council at the rear of the Meadow End to provide development land for the club and land for the council to get the adjoining residential development underway.
There are two telecom agreements under discussion with Orange and O2 who have equipment at Edgar Street that needs to be surrendered to provide a free and unencumbered site for development at the Blackfriars End.
Meetings have been arranged for tomorrow and March 22 to go through the new draft 30-year lease, surrender leases and discuss the 220-year leases.
A full survey of the stadium and its surrounding area has been completed and design criteria for the construction of stands at the two ends can now take place so the club can determine the amount of land available for development.
At the Meadow End, the proposal is for a stand parallel to the goal-lines for the full width of the pitch which would provide us with space for more than 2,000 supporters, also catering for supporters requiring wheel chair viewing with refreshments and toilets areas.
At the Blackfriars End, the proposal is for a stand providing space for 1,500 standing supporters, however I’m recommending that we convert some of this standing area into seating for away fans so that we can place the away fans into one area.
This would reduce the capacity to around 1,200. With FA rules on away fan ticket allocations, I see no reason to build anything larger than needed in order to afford the project costs that would be available from the sale of land and grant-funding set down by the FA.
As all supporters know, the ground has suffered this season due to the weather and we propose to raise funds to carry out drainage and repairs during the close-season.
We’re looking for supporters to sponsor sections of the Edgar Street pitch – details can be found on the club’s website.