Concerns raised over Derby County’s Pride Park Stadium extension plan

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

The owner of a Pride Park sports centre has raised concerns over plans by Derby County to extend their stadium.

In November, the Rams submitted proposals to Derby City Council to build an extension on to Pride Park Stadium’s East Stand for a new fan zone with a food court and bars.

The two-storey development, which would be built on to the side of the stand, would provide a total floor space of almost 3,500 sq metres.

Part of the space would be for “the use of the wider community” during weekdays and weekends. The remaining area would be specifically for match-day use.

The proposed extension to the East Stand would include new restaurants, bars and a 'fan zone'

The proposed extension to the East Stand would include new restaurants, bars and a 'fan zone'

But, since the application was lodged, a letter has been received by the city council from the owner of the neighbouring DW Leisure Centre, in Derwent Parade, which is home to a DW Sports store and gym, Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park and Powerleague Derby Soccerdome indoor football.

Clearbell, acting on behalf of the owner of the centre - Amberside Retail - has written to the authority, raising concerns about parking and the impact on the local road network.

The letter received by the city council says: “Generally, we support proposals to improve facilities at this location and to enhance the overall visual appearance.

“But we wish to express concern that the application does not properly consider the impact of the proposals on our car park, especially during non-match days.

The DW Leisure Centre is close to Pride Park Stadium

The DW Leisure Centre is close to Pride Park Stadium

“Our car parking would be the nearest to and most convenient to the proposed units. It would be expected that the typical customer of the proposed facilities would not use Derby County’s existing car parking provision on the west side of the stadium and walk all the way round when they could easily park in our car park.

“Therefore, we would request the applicant provides more detail on how the car parking demand arising from the proposals will be managed.”

Clearbell has also raised concerns over the height of the extension and whether its roof structure would interfere with an access road.

It said: “This road is used by delivery vehicles, coaches and buses. If our interpretation of the imagery is correct then there is a height issue potentially, which could impact on the use of the access road.

The exterior design of the extension aims to mirror that of Pride Park Stadium

The exterior design of the extension aims to mirror that of Pride Park Stadium

“We reserve the right to formally object to the application if the concerns we have identified are not addressed.”

The Derby Telegraph understands that, if Derby County’s plans are approved, the East Stand extension would not be constructed straight away.

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It is thought that it would only be built once the Rams have become an established Premier League club.

Derby County has been contemplating adding to facilities at Pride Park Stadium for some time.

Originally, the club had permission for a £7 million development called the Unity Plaza Scheme but it was put on hold since Mel Morris’s takeover of the club in September 2015. That scheme included five new cafes and restaurants, along with two new bars.

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