‘Might be warmer’: Simon Corney delighted as Oldham Athletic’s North Stand planning permission granted

By Matthew Lees

Oldham Athletic struggles on the pitch have received a major boost after planning permission for for a new North Stand at Boundary Park was secured.

Oldham Council’s unanimously approved the application last night after more than 1,500 fans signed a book and sent around 600 emails or letters in an effort to get it passed.

Latics chairman Simon Corney was at the meeting along with chief executive Neil Joy, as were about 20 to 30 fans, and was pleased everyone worked together for the benefit of the club.

“It is very good news and a combination of hard work by both the council and the club,” he told MM.

“We were pretty certain as the council have been very supportive and helping us a tremendous amount.

“It has taken seven years nearly so the fans will see it as very good and it will be nice to have a four-sided stadium that may also be warmer.”

The North Stand development includes a 2,328 capacity three storey stand with high quality corporate facilities, gymnasium space, a supporter’s bar and a 286 space car park.

It is hoped the space within the new stand will help cement Athletic’s long-term future and financial viability.

Despite the decision, Corney is still cautious given a previous application was approved in 2008 but was by delayed the financial crisis and a downturn in the property market.

“There’s a long way to go, all we’ve got is permission,” added the Oldham chairman.

“I ask people remain patient and very understanding as there are still a couple of hurdles particularly financial.

“However we can overcome them.”

After pulling down the old ‘Lookers’ stand in May 2008 Latics considered moving to Failsworth  the following summer but were blocked by the Charities Commission.

The successful bid for planning permission, which lasts three years, had just one objection from a nearby resident over noise concerns.

Corney confirmed the plan is to start building work at the end of the season with the aim to be finished by the 2014/15 season.

Image courtesy of Roger May, via Wiki Commons, with thanks

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