Council and club are £2m apart over cost of moving

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 06 December 2013 Updated: 06/12 15:02

A DIFFERENCE of more than £2million between the council’s costing of Redditch United’s relocation proposals and the club’s own predictions has emerged.

It was revealed on Tuesday (December 3), Redditch Borough Council’s calculations show the authority stands to lose upwards of £1.5million if the scheme is given the green light, compared to chairman Chris Swan’s claims they would profit by £600,000.

Valuations presented by Mr Swan at an overview and scrutiny meeting show three developers estimated the land off Bromsgrove Road currently used by the football club, which would be sold for housing to allow them to move to a new site in Washford, was worth around £5million.

The sale would enable the £3.5million costs of building the new stadium and the associated financial implications to be covered while still allowing the council to profit.

But Coun Phil Mould said the £5million valuation did not allow for the 40 per cent social housing which the council would need to ask for on the site and was based on almost 80 homes being built there, but highways chiefs had advised with the current access arrangements there could only be up to 50.

He said this would result in the land only being worth £2million - although the council declined a request to release the amount the land was independently valued at saying it was not permitted to do so - which would see them £1.5million out of pocket.

John Godwin, head of leisure, said additional costings such as any Section 106 agreement reached on the site - which would see a developer paying a lump sum towards improving the infrastructure nearby - and highways issues such as a £500,000 roundabout needed at the Washford site would result in a funding shortfall of between £1.5 and £1.7 million.

Mr Swan said a full cost plan, a five-year business plan, full design, risk assessment and financial summary to evaluate the project had been completed.

“The council would retain the freehold of the new ground and receive rental income from the club.

“Redditch Borough Council should be helping the football club, not killing it.”

Following the meeting, he added: “If we all work together we could have a world-class sporting facility that would not only give our town football team a sustainable future but also allow at least 1,000 youngsters a week play, as well as allowing many more girls, ladies and disabled people to participate in what is our national sport.”

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