Meeting held over future of Nene Park, but demolition still seems likely

Nene Park, Irthlingborough
Nene Park, Irthlingborough

Councillors and MPs have met with the owner of Nene Park to discuss its future - but the stadium still seems destined for demolition.

Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northants, received a letter last month from the chief executive of East Northants Council David Oliver saying stadium owner Keith Cousins was willing to meet with interested parties to discuss its future.

Mr Pursglove said the owner had agreed to meet and halt any demolition work on the site just off the A6 at Irthlingborough pending that meeting taking place.

A meeting took place last week with numerous people, including the MP, the owner and Mr Oliver, but it seems that the stadium, which was home to Rushden & Diamonds as well as Kettering Town for a short spell, is still set for demolition.

A post on Mr Pursglove’s Facebook page says: “Earlier last week, along with Peter Bone MP, Cllr Marika Hillson, Cllr Roger Powell, Cllr Dorothy Maxwell, Cllr Sylvia Hughes, and a number of others, I met with the owner of the Nene Park stadium.

“This meeting in Westminster was a very useful opportunity to get everyone around the table, and to hear the different viewpoints regarding the stadium, although regrettably, it still appears very unlikely that it will be saved.

Inside the stadium

Inside the stadium

“That said, we were all able to express our view to the owner that it would be preferable for at least part of the stadium and associated pitch facilities, to be retained as part of any future regeneration of the site, and urged for this to be considered.

“We were also able to stress our view that any future plans for the site, to be successful and acceptable in planning terms, would benefit from community input and focus – in particular, to my mind, any redevelopment of Nene Park must deliver a ‘win’ for community football, which is a point I will continue to press.”

The Northants Telegraph reported on January 12 that the owners of Nene Park had submitted an application for prior notification of the proposed demolition of the stadium.

They said they wanted to demolish it due to its ‘dangerous condition as a major fire risk and derelict condition.’

When asked for details of the proposed restoration of the site, documents submitted as part of the application said: “The site will be the subject of a separate planning application.”