Blues reassure Chester fans over car park bus depot plans

Reporter:

Steve Creswell

BOSSES at Chester FC have sought to reassure fans after it emerged a bus company had applied to build a depot on part of the ground's car park.

Stagecoach is seeking planning permission from Flintshire County Council to relocate its depot from Liverpool Road in Chester to a disused area of the car park at the Swansway Stadium on Sovereign Way.

It has a conditional agreement with developer Watkin Jones to build a student accommodation block on the city site.

Some Chester FC fans had expressed concern over the impact the construction of the new depot may have on match days.

Club bosses released a statement yesterday stressing that no concrete deal had been made and talks were still in early stages.

Chief Executive Mark Maguire said: “As a club, and indeed in my role in particular, it is a duty to explore ways of maximising the use of the stadium and its surrounds.

“A facility used for a limited number of days each year is not maximising the opportunity that we have and therefore it is natural that we will examine various opportunities as they arise.

“Over the past 12 months we have had a number of approaches and my job in these circumstances is to pursue discussions until such time as a credible proposal is in place that I can put to the board in order for them make a decision - measuring all of the pros and cons.”

He outlined three things that need to happen before he can ask the board to consider the proposals.

These are: the receipt of an attractive proposals which would include income, car park improvements and satisfaction that lost spaces could be compensated for; satisfaction from the landlord; and the satisfaction of planning requirements.

“At this early stage only brief discussions have taken place but none of the above criteria have been satisfied and therefore it is not yet a matter which has been debated by the board,” Mr Maguire said.

“If and when that time arrives I am sure that there will be full consideration given to any potential impact on match days and the stadium surrounds, but I must stress that it is important that we continue to examine ways of generating new income streams for the club as we seek to grow the platform for the clubs future success.

“Finally, I must express my thanks to our colleagues at Cheshire West and Chester Council who have been nothing other than informative and co-operative in providing us with the necessary information to explore various opportunities as they have arisen.”

Email:

steve.creswell@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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