Franklins Gardens redevelopment;

Discussion in 'Aviva Premiership / LV Cup' started by Bullitt, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    Northampton Saints chairman Keith Barwell has today called upon Northampton Borough Council to have an open and public debate as to the benefits of the proposed development of Franklin's Gardens.


    In May 2009 Northampton Saints announced its intention to apply for planning permission to increase the capacity of Franklin's Gardens from 13,500 to 17,000. The development would be funded by the sale of one of the club's car parks to ASDA for a new food store to serve the Upton and St James areas of Northampton.

    However, in today's Chronicle and Echo Barwell says that there has been stiff resistance from Northampton Borough Council.

    "There is a saying that if there's no wind, row. It would be nice if the council could put a bit of wind behind us instead of providing an obstacle," he said. "We had a heavy beating from the council and they said they don't want anything that takes trade away from the town centre.

    "But the problem is they can't stop this trend. What are they going to try to do next? Stop internet shopping because that detracts from the town centre?

    "That's why I want to start a debate about what the people of Northampton want."

    Although Franklin's Gardens is recognised as the pre-eminent dedicated club rugby facility in the United Kingdom, the Saints is now facing the prospect of having to take games away from the stadium. Should a home quarter final be achieved in the Heineken Cup it would have to be played at a stadium with a minimum capacity of 15,000, over a thousand more than the current capacity.

    Furthermore, over the last decade the club has seen average crowds grow by one hundred percent. The Guinness Premiership is also experiencing continued expansion, but the Saints - have operated at 98% of capacity over the past few seasons - currently cannot match what is happening at other clubs.

    "We cannot stand still," Barwell continued. "We will get left behind. We need to extend Franklin's Gardens as soon as possible. Many Guinness Premiership clubs have been helped by their local council enabling planning permission. Other clubs like Saracens, Wasps and Harlequins are now playing some of their Premiership games at Wembley and Twickenham.

    "The Saints have been in Northampton for nearly 130 years. But is the Borough Council trying to drive us out?"

    The Saints has also revealed what the new stand would look like in a special new section of the club's website including a computer-generated 'fly-through' of the redeveloped stadium. The special section of the website also gives supporters the opportunity to have their say over the future of Franklin's Gardens.

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  3. gingergenius

    gingergenius Guest

    I hate people who get in the way of stadium expansion.

    Good luck.
  4. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    I work across the road from the Leader of the Northampton Country Council i think that i should go round and have a swift word with him.
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    Rumour has it he (as in the council leader) is a Season ticket holder so isn't allowed any involvement.
  6. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Bullitt @ Dec 28 2009, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    But this is a must for Northampton. The Saints is probably the best export from northampton right now. Bringing sky along and amongst other things. Hopefully this goes through, nothing i want more than to see Franklins Gardens towering next to express lifts.
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    Agreed completely and I'd say now that by-hook-or-by-crook the redevelopment will go ahead. I expect it'll be by increased Season ticket prices and another lot of shares being sold much like 8 years ago for the Tetleys stand.

    Whether or not the Asda development (which is the main problem) goes ahead though as part of the deal remains to be seen.
  8. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Bullitt @ Dec 28 2009, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Ive heard that ASDA wont be going ahead because of competition nearby or something or other. But this shouldnt stop the build because the land could be used for other things.
  9. Why the complaining as the expansion can only be good for the Saints and Northampton as a town.
  10. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    The problem is the councils belief that Northampton Town centre is still viable instead of being a ghetto with no shops. They're adamant about redeveloping the Grovesnor centre in 2020 and not alooweing any out-of-town shopping developments until then - The Cobblers had the same obstacle when they waned to use land at Sixfields for the Weston -Favel-style centre they were going to provide land for which would have built their stadium. This was blocked because the town centre (which has poor access and over-priced parking) would directly suffer as a result. Sadly the council were all-sweeping in their decision and blocked every development, including needed supermarkets and the Cobblers revised plans of selling the land to develop first a casino and then a garden centre.

    The interesting crux is however that a Supermarket is actually needed in that area to provide for the residents of St. James and Upton, being as Sainsburys is over-loaded by Duston residents and Tesco is overwhelmed by people from Far Cotton, Delipree and Hunsbury. Combine this with the fact a supermarket - Predominantly aimed at the food sector - won't kill off the town centre business at all compared to ripping down the main shopping mall and farting around with a 3-6 year redevelopment plan (by which time all the shops and businesses will have moves to Milton Keynes with no plans of ever returning).

    Election next year... And I won't be voting for the Lib Dem or Labour joint council...
  11. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    Town Centres needs to be written off and starting a clean slate. Which will never happen.
    If facilities are built outside of the centre perhaps it could provide more money to help redevelop. Anyone who lives in Northampton, avoids town centre if they have a choice already.
  12. RC

    RC Guest

    Northampton are consistently once of the best (as far as stats go) for fans turning up to home games.
    Surely others can see this as a strong argument to redevelop the ground.
  13. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Someone better tell the architects...they missed out some seats on the right hand suddenly slopes off! :(
  14. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    Because theirs a curve their because beacon bingo is right behind.
  15. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Why did you let someone put a bingo hall in the way of your South Stand redevelopment?
  16. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    As far as i know its been their since time began.
  17. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    You'll find the Bingo hall used to be a Tescos. I know this because my Nan used to do her shopping there when I was a toddler and I had a rather painful experience when I got my leg stuck in the mesh of the trolley.

    Yet another reason that building must die!
  18. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Why has the Bingo Hall/Tescos been there since the beginning of time?
  19. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    The final passage of Genesis was lost many years ago, therefore we can only speculate.
  20. <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Dec 31 2009, 01:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>

    Used to be Hillards, before that Brierlys and before that a bowling Alley.
  21. SaintDean

    SaintDean Guest

    Got this from Head of Planning a couple of minutes ago.

    Dear Sir

    Thank you for your e-mail the contents of which have been noted .

    The Council will continue to support development options in Northampton, including those for Northampton Rugby Club, that are in accordance with planning policy. The Council cannot comment on any proposals for development until a planning application has been received.

    Yours sincerely

    Sue Bridge

    Head of Planning

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