New ground will mean new era for Champions League newcomers. (©PAphotos)
by Alan Frost
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As Harry Redknapp plans for tonight’s battle against arch rivals Arsenal in the Carling Cup, behind the scenes Tottenham are hoping to enter the final stage of an even bigger battle.
Whilst a victory at White Hart Lane will leave the Spurs faithful delighted, planning permission for a new stadium would point to a very bright future for the Champions League newcomers.
A Haringey council meeting, rumoured to be on 30th September, will provide the first obstacle to Spurs’ second planning application.
A £400million, 56,250 capacity stadium, together with a hotel, supermarket and flats, would truly propel Tottenham back into the higher echelons of English football. White Hart Lane only holds around 36,250 and sells out most weeks.
With over 30,000 members waiting for a season ticket and most tickets purchased before they can go on general sale, Tottenham have missed out on the colossal revenue streams that Manchester United, Arsenal, and even Chelsea and Liverpool have enjoyed.
After objections from English Heritage and CABE, as well as comments from the Met Area Commander, Spurs have returned from the drawing board with a new design that incorporates four listed buildings such as the Red House, along with the Tottenham gates and a statue of Bill Nicholson.
The hotel and flats have also been styled to fit in with the look of the new stadium.
The new stadium, provisionally on the list of London’s stadiums for the England 2018 World Cup bid, would be a massive private project in an age of government restraint. The recession hit the already-deprived borough of Haringey harder than most.
It is unlikely that the council will have much opposition to the club’s plans, especially after rumours surfaced of a move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. A move for the club out of the borough would be a disaster for the local economy.
The club is hopeful they have satisfied the English Heritage and CABE, and while the Mayor’s office and the Secretary of State could delay or deny planning permission, it is unlikely they would go against Haringey council’s decision.
Tottenham Hotspur have spent nearly two years in consultation with the relevant bodies, and must be hopeful that they will soon be able to begin work.
Demolition to the north of the current ground has already started. When the coalition Government makes cuts to public spending, can they really turn down a private capital project of this magnitude in an area in such need of regeneration?
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.