Wednesday 14 March 2007 

Exciting Progress In Ground Redevelopment Plans

At a Cabinet meeting last night, Chelmsford Borough Council agreed to a deal on its car park adjacent to The Ford County Ground, which will allow Essex County Cricket Club to proceed with a comprehensive redevelopment of its facilities, in conjunction with its development partner, MCD.

This will see the old buildings swept away and 21st Century cricket facilities take their place. The cricket club is now in a position to submit a formal application for planning permission which will include much-needed affordable housing and retail opportunities as well as improving the club’s existing facilities.

As part of the draft development proposal, plans include a new 320-space multi-storey car park to be constructed, including 175 spaces which will replace the present surface car park. These spaces will continue to be available to the public on what is a very popular site.

Keith Brown, Treasurer of Essex Cricket Club said: “Comprehensive development of the cricket ground and the building of new facilities has been the subject of discussion with the Council for some years. This agreement enables ourselves and MCD to work on plans to realise our long-held ambition to produce a cricket stadium worthy of our successful cricket team and the revival of the national game. We will now be working with Chelmsford Borough Council planners to produce an attractive development which will be a focal point in Chelmsford and a benefit to the whole community, but also makes economic sense to the Club.”

Cllr. Roy Whitehead, Leader of Chelmsford Borough Council said: “The Council has long supported the development of the Cricket Ground in the centre of our County Town, and I am pleased that our negotiations have been completed to allow the next phase to proceed. Once this development receives planning permission, it will place Chelmsford firmly on the international sporting map, and bring expanded leisure, cultural and business opportunities to the local area. This is an excellent example of a partnership working with one of the major cricket clubs in England and helps to achieve Chelmsford Tomorrow’s vision to create a town that has both regional and national importance.”