Posh plans: Hotel next for London Road stadium development

An aerial view of Peterborough United's London Road stadium taken in 2004. Picture: David Lowndes/Peterborough ET
An aerial view of Peterborough United's London Road stadium taken in 2004. Picture: David Lowndes/Peterborough ET
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A hotel or a line of plush restaurants could form part of the next stage of development at Peterborough United’s London Road stadium.

Peterborough City Council has unveiled the ideas as it continues to progress and develop its plans to revamp the London Road stadium, which it bought for £8 million in January last year from businessman Colin Hill.

It also follows crunch talks between the club and the council to clear the air about the future of the stadium.

Club chairman Darragh MacAnthony said in January he was considering moving Posh out of the city over his concerns about the rent he is paying to the council and a general lack of communication from the authority.

But his fears appear to have been allayed after a meeting at the Town Hall, attended by Mr MacAnthony, director of football, Barry Fry and chief executive Bob Symns this month.

It was hosted by the council’s chief executive Gillian Beasley, head of Peterborough Delivery Partnership, Andrew Edwards and head of strategic projects Richard Hodgson.

Mrs Beasley said: “The meeting was positive and I look forward to continuing a close working relationship with the club as we look to develop the stadium in partnership.”

She also announced that the stadium’s London Road End would be redeveloped once the £9.5 million revamp of the Moy’s End is complete.

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The Moy’s End is set to undergo a major refurbishment, which will include a new all-seater stand with a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education centre at its base.

It will be capable of holding 2,500 fans. Official plans are due to be submitted to the council’s planners later this year.

Mrs Beasley added; “Discussions are progressing on the redevelopment of the stadium with an aim to achieve a capacity of up to 19,000.

“We are exploring the redevelopment of the London Road terrace after the Moy’s End terrace has been completed

“As part of this, a number of options we are looking at includes a hotel, restaurant or other uses, depending on what commercial interest emerges.”

Posh chief executive Bob Symns described the bond between the council and the club as “as strong as ever” following the meeting.

He said: “The meeting was in regard to current and future development, current and future funding opportunities and a chance to re-establish understanding and reassurance within the partnership.

“The meeting went very well with full and frank dialogue and answers being the mainstay of the discussions.

“The relationship between Peterborough United and the council is as strong as ever with both sides driving forward to fulfil their commitment to the future wellbeing of the city, the club and the people and supporters of the city.”

Further progress on plans to transform the stadium, which has been the club’s home since 1913, has also been made after the proposals for redeveloping the South Bank were approved by city planners earlier this month.

A total of 295 homes, including 74 two-bedroom flats in a seven-storey block, will be built in the £150 million Carbon Challenge site.

The site, which will be the largest eco-village in the country, lies behind the stadium.

As part of the project, the council renegotiated new leases with businesses and tenants which front onto London Road.

Now the plans have been approved, all of the businesses have left the row of premises, including The Party Shop which is now in Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston.

Richard Hodgson, council head of strategic projects, said: “The South Bank area has been identified in the Peterborough Local Plan as an opportunity area.

“The council, along with its public sector partners, has acquired a controlling interest in the South Bank site.

“As a result, negotiations took place with tenants of numbers seven to 23 London Road to agree short-term tenancy arrangements.

“They would then enable the council to take vacant possession of the site at the appropriate time.

“This time has been reached, with planning consent granted for the Carbon Challenge Homes Scheme and substantial progress being made on the proposed redevelopment of the Moy’s End stand.

“The construction phase of the southern half of the South Bank opportunity area will now begin, which is a major milestone in the regeneration of this derelict city centre site.”

Adi Mowles, chairman of the Peterborough Independent Supporters’ Association, said: “It’s exciting to hear about the plans but some fans have a degree of cynicism.

“These things are massive projects. They need to get the Moy’s End and the South Bank housing out of the way first.”