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Lancs v Derwent court date set

High Court showdown on February 28

Published on January 28th 2011.


Lancs v Derwent court date set

Derwent Holdings and Trafford Council will meet in the High Court on February 28th as part of the row over the redevelopment of Lancashire County Cricket Club’s Old Trafford ground.

LCCC chief executive Jim Cumbes said the court’s decision will be ‘make or break’ for club and the prospects of seeing international cricket in the region.

“The stakes could not be higher,” he said. “The club has spent £1.5m on costs associated with planning, advisors and in particular, Derwent’s delaying tactics. There has also been a £2m reduction in grants as a result of not being able to start the development programme as planned.

“If we cannot bring the ground up to international standard, the North West will lose Test cricket and the Ashes for good. In addition, schools and young people locally will miss out on much-needed sports and community benefits.

“A key part of our plans are guaranteed local jobs for the unemployed, links to local schools and major community benefits. But Derwent seem to care not a jot about International cricket, the image of Trafford, or the prospects for local kids and the unemployed.

“LCCC has been in Old Trafford for 150 years and is seeking to secure a future for International cricket for the next century. Derwent’s action is about securing commercial gain at the expense of the LCCC’s sporting legacy for schools, community groups and young people in the North West.

“Mr Gubay is based in the Isle of Man tax haven and his company is based in Bermuda. People can draw their own conclusions from the contrast of interests.”

Derwent, which owns the White City shopping park near the Old Trafford ground, applied in December 2010 for a last-minute Judicial Review of Trafford Council’s planning approval of the club’s plans.

Alan Burke of Ask Developments, the club’s development partner, says: “Derwent have tried every available means to kill our plans. They are notorious for having a track record for this type of legal action.

“Derwent know we are facing a demanding timetable for delivery - their tactics are designed to have the maximum possible disruption to our programme and delivery of our funding package. They hope we will fail so they can progress their own commercial agenda.

"We have a funding commitment towards our project of over £5m approved by the Northwest Regional Development Agency. The terms of that agreement dictate that we must be clear of any potential Judicial Review action by April 2011 or risk losing that money.”

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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Old Trafford Needs TescoFebruary 1st 2011.

Can someone please provide Mr Gubay the number for Dignitas please.

Jonathan Schofield - editorFebruary 1st 2011.

We'll have an article up about this next week. We will be investigating the motivations behind Derwent's actions.

M30February 1st 2011.

The man behind Derwent is the man who brought us Kwik Save and who owns the white elephant relic of 80s "retail park" planning that is White City.
As someone who works in that area, this man's actiions to scupper the whole regeneration of Old Trafford/Stretford are motivated by selfishness and greed. He'll be sat in his high castle counting his pound notes on the Isle of Man while this area turns into something akin to downtown Mogadishu. I look forward to Mancon's exposure of this man.

TescopolyFebruary 2nd 2011.

Traders in GorseHill,AyresRd want a Tesco? Or anyone wanting a better Stretford Arndale? Or local traders in the shops already under commercial pressure in Seymour Grove?
I bet they're not the ones saying OT needs a Tesco, or that believes [how? why?] a competing mega-Tesco will bring about the "regeneration of OT/Stretford" we actually do need.
This article - maybe rightly - questions Gubay's motives [without any giving any comment from Derwent]. But a follow-up article should explain to us just *which* local businesses - apart from LCCC of course - will be helped, and how, by arrival of Tesco. BTW I'm an OT resident, not a local business afraid of Tescopolisation. Is M30 postcode for Eccles?

M30February 3rd 2011.

Which "traders" are we talking about exactly? The numerous takeaways, and the other assorted crap which makes Chester Road look like a city from the third world? Are you talking about the corner shops which sell stale Warburtons for £2 a loaf who have had a stranglehold on business for years? The Aldi or Iceland don't quite meet the needs of the local community. Are you talking about the wasteland so close to the city centre?

Personally I'd be in favour of a complete redevelopmnent of the Stretford Arndale (ditto the plans currently going on in Eccles) but the Stretford Arndale is no longer fit for purpose.

Fair enough, I don't live in this area, but I've worked here for the past six years, and the area around LCCC is a wasteland - there is nothing here bar a couple of dirty shops and plethora of takeaways - there's nowhere to even get a coffee when you disembark from the Metrolink. There's not even a cashpoint.

The excuse of "what about the local traders" is disingenuous - Mary Portas would make mincemeat out of them.
Hurry up Tesco, I want to be able to buy something other than a burger and stale bread at lunchtime.

TescopolyFebruary 3rd 2011.

So it's not about regeneration of anywhere else in OT then? Ayres Rd [a row of *community shops*] as found on all A-Z's can go to hell in a hand cart so Tesco can do what it does best - low prices + make mincemeat of the rest.

M30February 4th 2011.

The area where the Tesco is proposed is the area which is in dire need of development. It still bemuses me how there's people who have a bee in their bonnet about Tesco and pontificate about the virtues of shopping at local stores for local people. Not everyone has the budget, not everyone can, and I for one, don't want to.

The area around Talbot Road / Great Stone Road has NOTHING there other than offices, greasy takeaways, and the odd off-licence selling spam. This area needs a shot in the arm, and Tesco are prepared to provide it, so bring it on.

TescopolyFebruary 6th 2011.

Nothing against Tesco any more than the other big supermarkets. Look here
http://www.tescopoly.org/
or here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wyh2f
or here - how Morrisons has helped 'regenerate' Eccles town centre just across the road into a paradise for Charity-shoppers. There's only so much buying power to go round in inner-city suburbs like OT or Eccles. Will a Tesco down the road improve ... or board-up "the assorted crap which makes Chester Road look like a city from the third world" when A56 is main road so hardly any parking for passing drivers?

As said before: "This article - maybe rightly - questions Gubay's motives [without any giving any comment from Derwent]. But a follow-up article should explain to us just *which* local businesses - apart from LCCC of course - will be helped, and how, by arrival of Tesco."

TickleFebruary 6th 2011.

It bamboozles me that people can be so stupid to think that a big supermarket moving into an area can help at all. The fact is, the people who use the supermarkets are NOT going to be spending more money - they'll be spending the same amount, but more will be going to a single retailer, at the expense of existing local businesses. Do people think that customers magically find more money to spend when a new big supermarket opens? Honestly.

M30February 7th 2011.

The situation in Eccles is a different kettle of fish. Morrisons were in the precinct (where Wilko currently is) before they built across the road. At least there is now somewhere in Eccles to get an espresso (which there isn't in Old Trafford)

At the junction of Talbot/Great Stone Road, the nearest supermarket is either Morrisons in Chorlton, Asda in Hulme or Sainsburys on Regent Road. Neither are ideally placed for anyone without a vehicle. There is NOTHING ELSE here bar a couple of newsagents and takeaways. Oh, and B&Q.

It still astonishes me the way that people bang their drum about "local businesses" as if the owners of such businesses are the biggest philanthropist since Andrew Carnegie.

To all those people intent on lining the hungry pockets of these superannuated grocers, please spare a thought for those people like the elderly, or those on low incomes who a supermarket provides a lifeline to with fresh quality products for a low price.

Tickle.February 7th 2011.

Is this idea about local grocers being overpriced and low quality actually true? I live round the corner from a stretch of independent Asian grocers and the food from there is fine, and the fruit and veg is in fact much cheaper than supermarkets. I'm not arguing this point for the sake of it, it just doesn't reflect my experience.
No, local businesses are not philanthropists but they're far more likely to be part of the community and to spend their profits locally than a faceless disinterested national company.

M30February 7th 2011.

My experience of local grocers has overwhelmingly been one of the lowest quality goods for the highest price imaginable in squalid and dirty premises.
Happy Shopper tinned tomatoes for 99p a tin, loaves of Mothers Pride for two quid with one day left on the best before. I could go on. They're not all the fruit and veg paradises you come across in places like Cheetham Hill or Longsight.

The corner-shop is over-romanticised in my opinion. They've had a captive market for selling their tat for far too long. I'm lucky that I now have a Tesco Express as my nearest shop. The "corner shop" it replaced was nothing short of a disgrace. Not to mention a blot on the landscape.

I fear I'm repeating myself, but there isn't anywhere within walking distance of LCCC which sells more than individual cigarettes and Hollands Pies.

I'm even in favour of an additional Tesco Express at Warwick House (in the old HSBC Bank) to meet the needs of the many workers in this area. Sir Terry Leahy, I hope you can hear me.

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