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£32m LCCC revamp gets green light from government

Redevelopment means massive Tesco near cricket ground

Published on September 29th 2010.

£32m LCCC revamp gets green light from government

The controversial £32m redevelopment of Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) has been approved by government.

The scheme had been called in by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles following an appeal by Derwent Holdings, which owns the nearby White City Retail Park where it planned to build a new Sainsbury’s store.

The scheme is being part-funded by Tesco after the local council decided to sell the retailer a piece of nearby land. It will build a new 155,000 sq ft store on Chester Road, which has been opposed by some local residents, as well as rival developer Derwent.

LCCC chief executive Jim Cumbes, said: "This is a historic moment for Old Trafford, as it will ultimately secure the future of international cricket in Greater Manchester and the North West.

"We can now immediately commit to the turning of the wicket, a vital stage in our programme for the redeveloped stadium to be ready in time to host the Ashes in 2013."The redevelopment will create new pitches, two new grandstands and a new pavilion and will boost the seating capacity from 15,000 to 25,000. The Old Trafford ground will also get new player and media facilities, a big screen and an extension to its indoor cricket school and public areas.

Cumbes said: "The government has backed the council's recognition of the important role the club plays in supporting Trafford's economy - especially through hosting international matches like the Ashes.

"This decision backs the partnership's plans to deliver a much-needed new retail offering, hundreds of local jobs, and millions of pounds in regeneration to this part of the borough.

Michael Kissman, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: "This is a flagship development for us in the Manchester area, which will create hundreds of jobs - and most importantly half the jobs created in the Tesco store will be reserved for the long-term unemployed."

Matt Colledge, leader of Trafford Council, said he was delighted the Secretary of State has said the Council can proceed to issue the planning permission without the need for a full public inquiry.

"The Secretary of State's decision is formal confirmation that the council's Planning Committee decision and the process it followed were correct. It has stood up to the most robust scrutiny, having been reviewed twice.

“But this decision is about much more. It means we have been able to issue a formal planning decision notice and we can now look forward to seeing the redevelopment of the ground, which will kick-start our longer-term regeneration plans for the wider area. “The Council will continue to work with its partners throughout this process and I look forward to seeing work start as soon as possible.

“The club's redevelopment is crucial if it is to once again secure its place as a world-class cricket ground. This will not only benefit the club itself, but the wider economy, which will benefit from the huge following international cricket brings with it, especially the Ashes series."

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