Peterborough United Co-owner “disappointed” with stadium options on new Embankment masterplan

Posh Co-owner Stewart Thompson has said that he is disappointed with the outcome of the masterplanning process for the Embankment and the locations it recommends for the club’s new stadium.

Posh Co-owner Stewart Thompson. Photo: Peterborough United.
Posh Co-owner Stewart Thompson. Photo: Peterborough United.

Last week, an independent team of consultants, led by Barton and Wilmore, published four visions for the future of the Embankment. Posh’s proposed new multi-purpose stadium featured in option two and three, but Co-owner Stewart Thompson has responded, angered that neither of the site’s are ones favoured by the club.

He said: “We were disappointed that the outcome of the independent assessment put forward for the site only included the proposed new stadium on two of the plans and to be honest, neither of those two are where we would be happy in terms of the location. One of the suggested sites is Middleholme, which doesn’t have any transport links and the city doesn’t even own the land anyway, so is not a viable option in any case.

“I am pretty sure that most people in the city, not withstanding a number who have reservations around green space, which we are happy to address and have spoken about at length at an open fans forum, would want that particular area of the city to feature regeneration and a stadium that can serve the community as a whole.

The second option includes a multi-use stadium on the Middleholme part of the Embankment, with houses next to it. A large part of the parkland would be retained and enhanced, with the views of the cathedral preserved. A riverside promenade, which includes a playground and a skate park would be included. The cultural hub would also be incorporated.

“We have always said that we are not just wanting to build a new football stadium, the plans include so much more than that, from a Conference Centre to a venue that can incorporate future technology and it would bring people into the city, therefore spending more money and continuing to build on the progress that Peterborough as a city is making.

“Not only that, but we want to work alongside the new university not against it and we have already spent time with the ARU Principal and are excited about those plans. For those that have countered our plans stating we should redevelop our current home on London Road, my response to that is that it is simply not possible.”

A further round of consultations has now been launched, with the aim to gather further feedback before publishing the favoured masterplan option in January. The deadline for feedback to be sent to [email protected] is December 5.

On Saturday (November 27), residents were also given a chance to make their voices heard at a consultation event. Between 10:30am and 3pm at the City Council’s Services Centre on Bridge Street, the options were on display and the public were given a chance to give their feedback.

The third option also includes the stadium but on the western side. This would see the university campus spread towards the Key Theatre, river and the cultural hub and Middleholme fully used for housing. A smaller promenade would be present.

Mr Thompson has issued a rallying call, encouraged fans to go along before kick-off to express their support, as well as writing to their local MPs and councillors.

He added: “I love London Road just as much as our supporters, but, like our supporters, I recognise that we need to build a new stadium away from the site, it is not feasible to redevelop on the current footprint. What we have seen during this consultation period, is that a number of people are making a lot of noise and perhaps it is time for us to do the same.

“Ultimately, it is the Council that grants planning permission and therefore I would love to see our supporters getting in touch with their MP or Councillor demonstrating to them how much this city needs a new arena, an arena that can be our home, but can also provide entertainment, leisure, education and community services and support and so much more for the residents and for those that travel into Peterborough.

“There is a petition ongoing that has been started by a supporter, that can help, add your signature. Tell your friends, I want to galvanise the supporters of this football club and the residents that agree, and there are thousands and thousands that do, to show the decision-makers that this is the right option for the city of Peterborough and for Peterborough United. ”