New stadium likely to get green light

Last updated : 17 October 2007 By Dave Moore
Athletic's new stadium at Boundary Park is likely to get the go ahead but it will be another month before it is officially confirmed. The decision is dependent upon the Highways Agency and will take into account the impact of the development on Broadway, A627M and Elk Mill area.

Linda Brooks, spokeswoman for the opposition Residents' Together group said, "We are disappointed that the planning department has recommended approval for both schemes. We have had a couple of meetings with Oldham Athletic and they have reduced the overall density of housing by 10%. But football is not the major issue. It is everything else that goes with it. One major problem is traffic management. No new access is proposed and we want to know if the Highways Agency has concerns about traffic overall or just the Elk Mill and A627M roundabout areas. Also, the height of the north stand will be only slightly lower than the floodlights and much longer. We will be turning up on Wednesday night to make sure the plans are deferred."

The new ground's capacity would increase to 16,000 from 13,500. Planners say, "The site's location on a main access to the town from the motorway network makes it ideal to project a positive image of both the club and the borough, with a landmark structure. The report says it is a high quality development that would ensure professional sport remains viable while at the
same time providing a positive face to a major gateway into the borough, thereby assisting in attracting new business.

The chairman of the planning committee, Councillor Steven Bashforth, added, "We will be in close contact with residents, Oldham Athletic and the Highways Agency in order to keep everyone informed. If we have to defer them we will be writing to all affected residents to let them know the new date."