Bid for new Poppies ground in Kettering gets Lib Dem backing

Kettering Town's former stadium on Rockingham Road
Kettering Town's former stadium on Rockingham Road
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Local Liberal Democrats say Kettering Council should give serious consideration to plans to lease or sell council-owned land to the Poppies.

A meeting of Liberal Democrat members unanimously voted on Wednesday evening to support in principle the plan for a new stadium to be built on Weekley Glebe, with access from Stamford Road and close to the planned Weekley-Warkton bypass.

It is also suggested that the existing community sports pitches to be replaced on Frenches Field, a site unsuitable for housing, safeguarding this space for the community.

Supporters claim that, if the land were released by the council, the rest of the scheme could be financed by the football club.

The move has been spearheaded by independent councillor Michael Brown with growing cross-party support.

Chris Nelson, vice-chairman of Kettering and Wellingborough Liberal Democrats, said: “Kettering Council has prevaricated for years on how to help the football club, a source of real pride to the community, and finally they have a chance to make a real contribution without any major costs to council finances.

“Of course the final deal should make sure there is sufficient parking, looks after local residents and the club makes a plan to provide wider community benefits, but there is absolutely no reason to vote down this call for a feasbility study.

The Poppies have not played in their home town since 2011 and currently play at Latimer Park in Burton Latimer.

Liberal Democrat Burton Latimer town councillor Jenny Davies said: “This proposal seems like a win-win for the people of Burton Latimer.”