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The Ground situation
The Ground situation

Extract from presentation at Trust's AGM

Extract from presentation at Trust's AGM.
NB: Following the AGM Club Director Ian McAndrew provided a further presentation and responded to several questions from the floor.

In April 2002, in a secret deal, BCH entered an agreement with Persimmon for the sale of Bootham Crescent, conditional on vacant possession being achieved.

In late summer of 2002 Persimmon submitted a planning application to demolish Bootham Crescent and replace it with a housing estate.

In October 2002 the Trust initiated the campaign to save Citys home. There was massive opposition to the plans of BCH and Persimmon.

The following key principles were outlined then and remain true to this day:

- No change of use should be allowed for the Bootham Crescent site unless and until a better facility is in place for York City Football Club to play its home games. It is important that the proposed housing development should not put York Citys future at risk.

- Bootham Crescent is a leisure facility of regional importance. York City Football Club is North Yorkshires only Football League club and Bootham Crescent is the only stadium which meets its needs.

- Bootham Crescent is also a community facility of regional importance. York City Football Club is an important part of community life in York. Having a professional Football League club in York has positive benefits for the status of the City.

- The stadium at Bootham Crescent meets the standards required of the Football League and is in an excellent position for such an important local facility. It is near the city centre, has good access by public transport and brings positive benefits to local businesses.

Late in October 2002, the independent supporters group The Friends of Bootham Crescent was formed and since then, they have been active on the planning front.

In March 2003, with York City on the brink of extinction and with a lease at Bootham Crescent that expired at the end of that season, Trust representatives agreed a form of solution - with landlords BCH and the Council - that satisfied the Football Leagues requirements.

That necessary agreement required the new York City company to undertake its best endeavours to achieve the redevelopment of Huntington Stadium.
BCH then provided a lease to the Club to use Bootham Crescent until May 2004.

In March 2003, as part of its Rescue Package, the Trust put in place a Board of Directors to run York City Football Club Limited. That included Stadium Development Director Ian McAndrew, a Chartered Surveyor with vast experience in all aspects of commercial property in York and across the region. In turn, the Club appointed a team of consultants to work on various specialist aspects of the potential stadium development.

There have been many challenges and issues to deal with to progress matters to the first stage of submitting an application. The plans have had to be subject to many restrictions from many angles. The application was registered on 3 December and is now available for anyone to see.

If we are forced out of Bootham Crescent, the Club needs to have a contingency plan of somewhere to play in York.

If the Club is forced out of Bootham Crescent, the only possible alternative is a redeveloped Huntington Stadium.

Now the Club has got to this first stage, people can start to see that whilst some aspects of a redeveloped Huntington Stadium would be better than Bootham Crescent, many aspects would not.

The arguments can now be progressed beyond moral and sentimental outpourings, and instead can be based on the drafted planning application and the many obstacles that stand in the way of a redeveloped Huntington Stadium.

If the Club is forced out of Bootham Crescent, it threatens the ability to deliver the Community Vision and it threatens the sheer survival of the Club.

Many of these obstacles have come to light during the hard work and process of the past seven months.
Issues include the following:
- Relocation of the running track so that the athletes continue to have a suitable facility;
- The concerns of local residents;
- Objectors to the planning application;
- Archaeological issues at the site;
- Health and safety matters;
- Licensing of the stadium by the FLA;
- Travel plans and traffic issues around the Monks Cross area;
- The Councils Transport Plan requirements;
- Stadium development and management issues at a venue to be shared with the Rugby Club;
- Actually funding the development scheme and associated costs; and
- The implications for the Clubs future revenue generation if the Club was ever to move to a redeveloped Huntington.

The local authority now has to carry out a huge amount of consultation over the next few months. Many City fans will want to contribute to that process.

Whilst its not yet been confirmed, the planning application may be heard around Easter. Planning officers will take peoples comments and objections up until that time.

In conjunction with the Club, in the New Year, we will seek to provide more information and clarity to people about the application and the process.

The scale of the issues faced for the redevelopment of Huntington Stadium is such that they could be insurmountable.

The preferred option is to stay at Bootham Crescent until a time of our choosing when a better option may be available.

That is why much work has been done to try and get a solution to stay at Bootham Crescent. Nobody has given up on Bootham Crescent.

Finally, we all share the anger and frustration about the ground situation at York City.

That is not of our making.

Unfortunately the uncertainty will continue into next year.

Please be in no doubt that people are using their best efforts to provide the best possible solution for York City.

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