Council leader stands with the Trust on Sixfields development

26th Jul 2019

Northampton Borough Council leader Jonathan Nunn said last night that the council stood with the Trust and that any future development around Sixfields stadium should fairly reflect Northampton Town Football Club's entitlement.

The council wants leasehold land running from the stadium to the old athletics track footprint returned to the football club from development company County Developments Northampton Limited (CDNL), so enabling the prompt re-build of the stadium's skeletal east stand.

Councillor Nunn told the Trust's open meeting at Kingsley Park WMC in Northampton that the council, who own the freehold to the stadium and the development land in question, would not allow any development on the land separating the back of the east stand and the centre of the old athletics track.

He also confirmed that he had personally not seen or discussed any plans for the east stand since David Bower and Kelvin Thomas purchased the club in 2015.

The Trust's position is that the whole of the old athletics track land should be restored to the football  club's leasehold, as was the case in 2013, in line with the Asset of Community Value which has recently secured covering the west stand car park, Sixfields stadium and all of the old athletics track.

Trust chairman Andy Roberts said: "It was a good meeting and we are grateful to Councillor Nunn for taking the time to come out to speak to Cobblers fans directly on this issue.

"We understand that the council has to get best value for the council tax payer of Northampton from development in the town and that, inevitably in this day and age, football club owners are likely to have business interests that go beyond the football club they own.

"However, the interests of any developer should not conflict with those of the football club.

"Our position is clear. The Trust will always have the best interests of the football club and its supporters at heart and key to our mission statement, which goes all the way back to our formation in 1992, is the preservation and protection of professional league football in Northampton.

"To that end, we don't want to see the football club sold short - it has precious few assets and, at the very least, historic leasehold land titles should be restored to the club and a fit-for-purpose east stand built as a matter of urgency,

"Sixfields was built as a community asset in 1994, the council should not lose sight of this, and in our view the stadium and surrounding land should maximise community benefit to the people of Northampton as part of a joined-up sports strategy recently agreed by the council."

The Trust will continue to talk to the council to ensure that the football club's interests are fairly represented in any ongoing discussions and negotiations between the council and the developer CDNL.