Owing to a lack of clear information about development at Sixfields, the Trust made two Freedom of Information requests to Northampton Borough Council (NBC) which reveal that, up to the end of 2019, Northampton Town FC (NTFC) had not informed NBC of any completion schedule for finishing the east stand.
The only proposal brought forward during the last 18 months, in relation to the land surrounding Sixfields stadium, was in July to September last year and that was an outline proposal for a 120-room hotel with conference facilities, which was to be built on the old athletics track behind the east stand.
NBC indicated that it would be supportive of the proposal but our information is that the hotel developer looking at the project at the time decided not to proceed.
The Asset of Community Value (ACV) applied for by the Trust – covering the stadium, the old athletics track land and the west stand car park – has been listed by NBC and registered with the Land Registry.
The transfer of County Developments Northampton Ltd (CDNL) shares to NTFC, reported by the club in October, has now been updated on the record at Companies House.
NTFC now owns CDNL and with it the leases, with both companies owned by David Bower and Kelvin Thomas.
2019 FOI TIMELINE
January – NTFC and NBC issued a joint statement that ‘positive discussions’ were taking place concerning Sixfields development.
July to September – a proposal for a hotel development was put to NBC by NTFC.
October – a meeting of NBC’s Executive Programme Board stipulated that the east stand should be completed first, before any freehold transfer of ownership would be allowed to take place with regard to wider development on the Sixfields site.
A map was produced to indicate that the NBC freehold land at Sixfields, subject to CDNL leases, stretches from behind the east stand down to Ross Road, taking in the north gravel car park, the land to the east of the Walter Tull public house and the Sixfields recycling centre.
In late October, and unconnected with the hotel proposal, NTFC made a proposition to NBC concerning the development land.
The communication has been heavily redacted and no other substantive information about the proposition is disclosed.
The Trust has no information on the current status of this proposal.
November to December – NBC decided to update its valuation for its development land at Sixfields, last carried out in 2013/14 when David Cardoza owned the club and which at that time amounted to £6.5 million on the basis of a mixed retail, commercial and residential development.
It has now been valued with a view to building logistics units on the site.
At the end of 2019 no definitive development proposal had been agreed and it is not possible to provide supporters with any forecast of when the east stand may be finished.