St Albans City chief still confident of getting new stadium to benefit whole of the city

St Albans City's proposed Noke Lane Community Stadium looks to be dead in the water. Picture: SACFC

St Albans City's proposed Noke Lane Community Stadium looks to be dead in the water. Picture: SACFC - Credit: Archant

St Albans City’s hunt for a new stadium may still be ongoing but co-owner Lawrence Levy is still confident that not only will one be secured but it can catapult the club to the next level.

He admitted that they are not close as it stands with the proposed Noke development seemingly dead in the water.

But what fills him with belief is the inclusion of the club in the council's local plan.

That policy, L22, says "The council supports the principle of a new stadium and training facilities for St Albans City Football Club and it is likely that the community benefits arising from a thriving football club would carry considerable weight in considering any future application."

Levy said: "The policy will allow us to look at a suitable green-belt site assuming there is no non-green belt available and assuming we can evidence there are community and economic benefits to the city.

"With limited facilities we still give a lot of benefit to the community but that won't scratch the surface compared to a new facility."

He also explained what is meant by the 'enabling development' of housing.

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He said: "People say the owners only want a new stadium to build houses.

"We don't want the stadium to get the housing, we need the housing to build the stadium and the policy says we can have a suitably sized development to be able to fund it.

"If we assume our stadium costs £30m, then the enabling development needs to fund the infrastructure to build it and give a transparent allowed profit to the landowner and the developer.

"If the enabling development only brings in £20m then we have to find the difference or we build a smaller stadium.

"A proper stadium with assets to sweat will not only bring in the income to make it sustainable but will bring the people in to boost the economy of the city.

"The wellbeing to the city of the club doing well cannot be overestimated."