Temporary Poppies ground improvement plans go in

New stand must be erected to avoid relegation

By Sam Wildman
Saturday, 1st February 2020, 9:56 am
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 9:58 am
The Poppies have applied to construct two new temporary stands.
The Poppies have applied to construct two new temporary stands.

Plans for two new stands at the Poppies' Latimer Park home have been submitted to Kettering Council.

The National League North side must have a stand with 250 seats in place by the end of March to avoid relegation to the Southern League Central Division.

They have applied for temporary permission for a 500-seater stand which will initially be 250 seats to meet ground grading requirements and will replace the current directors stand, incorporating a tunnel.

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Plans show the new seated stand on the halfway line.

In time it could be extended to comprise of about 1,100 seats and two other stands could be moved to the opposite side of the pitch.

Poppies chairman David Mahoney said the club submitted the plans in October but they have only just been processed. They were published online by the council yesterday (Friday).

He said: "It's definitely going to improve the look of the ground."

"The atmosphere improved when we put the fencing up and that helped the sound reverberate around the ground.

"When we have got 250 seats all under one roof you can imagine that atmosphere is going to improve.

"When it becomes 500 it will be something special."

The 'meccano-style' stand - of a similar design to one built at AFC Rushden & Diamonds last year - will take minimal time to construct.

Mr Mahoney was unable to put an exact date on the work yet but said it "will be done by when it's needed" and reassured Poppies fans they had no reason to fear missing the ground grading deadline.

As part of the plan the club has also applied for a new terrace to replace the covered area at the Morrisons end of the ground with space for 240 fans.

Costing in the region of £25,000 fans have already raised almost £20,000 and Mr Mahoney praised them for their phenomenal support.

These new stands can be moved to the club's new stadium when it is built.

They have agreed a deal with Kettering Council to buy land off Scott Road known as French's Field, but the move will need the say-so of the Government because of an allotment covenant hurdle.Mr Mahoney said: "I do not see why we should not be ready to move to the next phase before the end of the season.

"We have got to attack each hurdle as it presents itself."

The Poppies are next in action at 3pm today (Saturday) when they host fellow strugglers Curzon Ashton.