Potters' stadium plan wins praise
PLANS to expand the home of Stoke City look set to win the support of planners.
The club wants to fill in the south-east corner of the Britannia Stadium – between the South Stand and Seddon Stand – adding 1,750 extra seats and increasing the ground's capacity to more than 30,000.
A planning application for the scheme has been recommended for approval by officers at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, ahead of a meeting of the development management committee next week.
The report to the committee says the expansion plans will benefit both the club and the wider community.
While the plans do not include any extra parking spaces at the stadium, officers have recommended that Stoke City pay a £22,000 lump sum, as well as £5,000 a year, to help mitigate traffic and parking problems which are expected as a result of the expansion.
The report states: "The council welcomes the club's desire to continue to develop and to strive for further success. The club is an important asset to the city and has wide reaching benefits across the community and the new development will assist its continued growth."
The multi-million project will be the first significant change to the stadium since it opened in 1997.
As well as adding extra seats, the expansion will also create room for another 18 wheelchairs and 18 helpers on a high-level platform.
The giant scoreboard in the south-east corner will be moved to the north-west corner, where a new two-storey television studio will be built.
Both the club and planning officers believe there will be no need to add to the stadium's existing 2,177 parking spaces.
But as more supporters will be visiting, the club has agreed to pay £16,000 towards the setting-up of additional controlled parking zones in the area.
Officers have also asked for £5,000 a year towards the running costs of the parking zones, and a £6,000 lump sum towards the introduction of a new travel plan.
The report states: "The measures proposed to mitigate against any adverse impacts that the development may cause are welcomed."
Stoke City fan Dave Ryder, a 32-year-old binman, from Longton, said: "This can only be good. It will allow more people to go and support Stoke, it will generate extra revenue, and hopefully it should add to the atmosphere.
"I just hope that the extra people who will be attending matches will be able to match the standards of the existing supporters.
"Hopefully, if these plans work out, the club will look at filling in the corners at the other end of the ground as well."