On Wednesday Kettering Borough Council will be discussing a motion put forward by Cllr. Michael Brown (Independent), asking the council to open up discussions with Kettering Town Football Club to consider the possibility of them moving to council owned land on the edge of town at Weekly Glebe at the far end of Stamford Road.
The idea is that a football ground could be built on some unused scrub land adjacent to the Weekly Glebe playing fields or maybe on the playing fields themselves, with the current football pitches moved across to the scrubland. Either way a piece of unused land would be brought into community use and a rental income be paid into the council which could perhaps in turn be used to improve other facilities on the site.
Concerned about any adverse impact this may have on local residents, one of the local ward Councillors Clark Mitchell and I recently walked the site and were struck by the size of the area. I had no idea it stretched far beyond the tree line adjacent to the first few football pitches for example, and it seemed to us the area was large enough for the suggestion to be implemented without any adverse effects, although obviously considerations such as these would be a large part of future discussions.
My Labour colleagues and I will be supporting the motion and we are confident it will receive cross-party support and be passed because it will seem silly not to. The motion is simply asking for discussions to be held and the possibility of such a move to be considered, and doesn’t tie anybody down to a final decision one way or another. Clearly if a football ground were to be situated there, there would be all sorts of questions and considerations, not least whether the club even want to move there or could afford to but to answer these questions you need to sit down and talk.
The motion follows on from a recent discussion held at the council about the old Rockingham Road ground and during that discussion, in answer to a specific question I asked, the leader of the council gave a promise to have discussions with the club to see if there was any way the council might be able to help them, and clearly the possibility of renting them some land to build a new ground falls very much into that area, and so my colleagues and I see no reason why the council shouldn’t have the proposed discussions and see if the idea is worth pursuing or not.