Demolition of Rockingham Road stadium could start in November

Kettering Town FC's old Rockingham Road stadium could be razed to the ground as early as November.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 12:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd October 2017, 2:26 pm
Rockingham Road stadium. NNL-170926-124547005
Rockingham Road stadium. NNL-170926-124547005

The ground, which has been empty since the Poppies left in 2011, was bought by a developer for housing earlier this month.

Work to cut down trees behind the old away end has already taken place, and now a notice of intent to demolish the stadium has been placed on safety barriers.

It reads: “Harpur Developments Limited hereby give notice of intent to demolish associated stands, terraces and floodlights at former Kettering Town football ground, Rockingham Road, Kettering, NN16 9AW, after November 1, 2017.”

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The notice of intent to demolish the stadium. NNL-170926-124536005

It’s understood that, as with the demolition of Rushden & Diamonds’ former Nene Park home earlier this year, the decision on whether to approve the demolition will not go to a Kettering Council committee hearing.

Last week the club’s supporters’ trust said its attempts to contact the ground’s previous owners, Ben Pickering Ltd, fell on deaf ears.

Poppies manager Marcus Law, who had a spell with the club when they were playing at Rockingham Road, said: “It’s just a real shame to be honest.

“You hear of clubs all around the country who have their old stadiums and when these sites are earmarked for housing, funds to provide the community with an appropriate replacement do become available.

The notice of intent to demolish the stadium. NNL-170926-124536005

“What is clear from the fallout on social media in particular is the local community, which goes over and above our core fanbase, seems to be very upset that the town does not have their own football ground within it.

“I’m not a huge fan of the new grounds, I may be a bit old fashioned but I love the old style grounds that have four different sides that were built at different times and that’s what Rockingham Road had.

“I do understand the politics that are involved. The developers are doing what is right by them and I understand that as well.

“I just think there are some who are bit short sighted. With the size of the town and the history that the club has, there’s no doubt in my mind that they will be back at the top tier of non-League football at some stage.

“And should that happen, it will bring thousands of extra people into the town over a certain period of time and create extra revenue streams that will benefit plenty of people aside from the football club itself.

“That’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten by anyone who is involved with making decisions.”