Kettering Council to discuss possibility of sports stadium in town

Kettering Town's former stadium on Rockingham Road

Kettering Town's former stadium on Rockingham Road

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Kettering Council is going to discuss the possibility of making available some land in the town for a sports stadium.

In the latest development in the long-running saga surrounding Kettering Town FC’s bid to have a football ground in the town, the full council will debate a motion put forward by Cllr Michael Brown.

The motion, which was seconded by Cllr Steve Bellamy, reads: “This council will begin conversations with Kettering Town Football Club and/or Kettering Town Football Club Community CIC with an aim to using KBC-Owned Frenches Field in conjunction with Weekley Glebe Fields to deliver a local sporting stadium without any loss to public playing pitches.”

Cllr Brown said: “If approved, this innovative local scheme would see contaminated and unused council-owned scrubland that neighbours Weekley Glebe developed to create newer and better public playing pitches for local children and residents.

“It will also give Kettering borough a community sports stadium and improved community facilities without losing a single acre of public playing fields and generate much-needed income for the local authority.

“Access could be from Stamford Road, ensuring that local housing is not affected and is perfectly placed for the arrival of the new Weekley-Warkton bypass, planned as part of the Kettering East development.

“It is a win-win for all in the community, sports lovers and participants, dog walkers and taxpayers and a fantastic solution to the long-running problem of a small community stadium for the borough of Kettering.”

Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune declined to comment until after the meeting, which will take place at the council offices on Wednesday, December 14.

Kettering Council officers have twice this year refused an application to list the Poppies’ old ground in Rockingham Road as an asset of community value (ACV), despite a thousands-strong petition and march through the town by supporters.

Such a move would have given the club the right to bid for the site if it ever became available.

Cllr Brown’s motion for future decisions over ACVs to be taken out of the hands of officers and given to councillors has been rejected.