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Grounds for Concern

Persimmon have refused to answer questions posed by the Supporters' Trust regarding the planning application to build housing on the home of York City Football Club

As a result, representatives of York City Supporters' Trust remain concerned about certain aspects of the proposal that, if approved, would lead to the Club's home in the city being demolished.

Speaking about the issue, Supporters' Trust spokesperson Sophie McGill commented:

"We're disappointed that Persimmon, and other parties, have failed to clarify certain aspects of the application. A lack of transparency can breed suspicion and concern within the community."

McGill added:

"The planning process for a new stadium is supposed to be running in parallel. At this stage that does not appear to be happening and this raises a deep concern for many people."

At this stage, the Trust's questions to Persimmon have focussed on just two areas of concern.

Firstly, in section 1.3.5 of the statement submitted on behalf of Persimmon Homes (York) Limited, it is stated that "In order to provide certainty that the proposed relocation can be achieved, the Football Club need to establish that the existing site can be redeveloped for residential purposes, prior to vacation of the ground at the end of the 2002-2003 season."

Some people have, rightly or wrongly, interpreted the statement to mean that the club may no longer be able to play its home games at Bootham Crescent after the end of the 2002-2003 season. Persimmon refused to clarify what their statement means.

Secondly, in relation to dwellings being built on the home of the Club, in section 6.3 it is stated that "...the redevelopment will enable the Football Club to relocate to a new stadium within the city offering significant advantages for the club, its supporters and other residents of York."

The Supporters' Trust asked Persimmon to explain what specific links there are between Persimmon Homes gaining planning permission for residential use on the Bootham Crescent site and the Club being in a position to be playing in a newly developed stadium somewhere else in the city. Persimmon refused to clarify what their statement means.

On the face of it, some people may suggest that Persimmon's development of the Bootham Crescent site is not an enabler to the Club building a new stadium at all. Two of the key enablers to a new stadium being built are (a) having committed funding to cover the costs, and (b) obtaining planning permission for the development.

The Supporters' Trust is soon expected to meet Council representatives to discuss various issues regarding the Club's home ground. The Supporters' Trust expects to comment further on the issues in due course. In addition, the Supporters' Trust may provide guidance to other supporters and the community about their input to the planning process.

Sophie McGill added:

"Bootham Crescent has been York City's home for seventy years. The supporters and the community want to ensure that the Club continues to have a proper home in the city. We cannot just sit and watch what happens."

This year, the York City Supporters' Trust has been making a positive contribution towards professional sport and community life in the city. Ensuring that the Club has a decent stadium is an essential requirement for the future survival and prosperity of York City. Many supporters remain deeply concerned that the club could be ousted from Bootham Crescent without a new stadium being in place. This is a very significant issue for the supporters and community of York.

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