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THE Home Park planning hearing thread + subsequent chat.

Jan 31, 2005
2,060
0
54
South Devon
www.pafc.co.uk
Hi all,

Late afternoon on Thursday 15 August, the City’s planners will make a formal decision regarding Argyle’s new grandstand and surrounding development.

Over the last few months, I have read much about the pros and cons about the submission and have paid an awful amount of attention to the detail of the planning application and the related issues.

Although these are personal thoughts and I write this very much as a fan and as an independent member of the Green Army, as the Vice Chair of Argyle’s Supporters’ Board I have also had the opportunity to question the Club’s statutory Board in some detail about both the planned redevelopment AND the Club’s finances; particularly so following the recent submission of last year’s accounts.

What is clear to me is that without being alarmist, the Club’s future progress and stability is strongly aligned to the grandstand being successfully redeveloped. The accounts show that our Club continues to lose money on a significant scale (this was confirmed at the last PASB meeting) and personally, I cannot see what a ‘plan B’ would be should the redevelopment not go ahead.

Many fans - possibly hundreds of fans - have spoken to me about this, both privately, at the wonderful PASALB meetings and in my PASB capacity and although many have expressed a wish that our new ‘day one’ capacity was 20,000+, every single one of the people that have spoken with me have ultimately expressed strong support for the new development, most saying something like “it’s a no brainer” and “of course it will go ahead”.

Although support for what is being proposed by the wider redevelopment is somewhat more divided, that this enabling development will provide the funds to allow the new grandstand and lucrative banqueting / conferencing facilities to be provided at no cost to us (with no £10 million+ mortgage legacy for the Club to carry into the future) is something that I see as an extraordinary opportunity for us. Mortgage payments on a £10 million loan alone would presumably eat up any new revenue generated for years to come.

However my sense is that amongst Argyle fans, such is the belief that the redevelopment application will be granted, that we’re mostly just sitting back thinking that it’s a given and are simply waiting for the work to start.

I don’t think that this is the case.

Although true opposition to the plans has been limited, it has been vocal and it has been active; albeit it has not been always absolutely factual and objective.

Again my sense is that although in the minority, these active opposition groups have managed to generate far more noise than the rest of us Plymothians and Argyle supporters who want this to go ahead. I suspect that the pro-formas and templates distributed by the groups opposed to the development have led to a disproportionate level of negative correspondence being received by the Council in relation to the redevelopment of Home Park.

As such, I think that if we want this to go ahead - & I very much do for the reasons that I have outlined above – we need to do more than we have done so far.

Although the formal consultation period has ended, the Council will continue to take further correspondence regarding the proposals into account right up until the date of the planning application hearing (I will add details of who we can continue to write to in the near future).

Perhaps we should follow the approach of the opposition groups and develop a similar but supportive template letter for supporters to print off, sign and submit? I'm happy to author one if we think it would be useful.

We need to make our voices heard.

Additionally, the hearing on the 15th August is a public affair and I am certain that a visible presence of the Green Army in the public gallery would help to demonstrate that we want the plans to be accepted so that work can start. I believe that this is of the utmost importance.

I understand that this vital meeting is scheduled to start around 4pm on the 15th but will confirm this nearer to the date.

I will be there in green & I would very much appreciate your company.

Anyone?

Regards

Jon
 
Jul 12, 2011
1,947
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Mountwise Plymouth
I think the idea to have a letter and get all fans to sign would be a great idea and to be honest i'm surprised at this late stage it is only being mentioned now.

I will be more than happy to sign your letter and I know loads more who would do also.

What about setting a stand up at the Fleetwood game where you will have the chance to gain lots of signatures especially from the guys not on Pasoti.
 
Mar 9, 2011
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I have already sent my letter of support to the planning department - but should I also send this same letter to all of the councillor's email addresses too?

Also, I was of the understanding that if the same letter is repeated by many supporters with just a different name signing this, it would be treated as a petition and would only count as '1' representation of support / opposal ?

Am hoping to be there on the 15th if I can get the time off work.
 

GreenThing

Administrator
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Sep 13, 2003
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Plymouth
Great post, Jon. I'll happily send in a copy of your letter.
 

Mike Greening

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Aug 2, 2008
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Me to. When can we download a copy. As both myself and my wife have sent in letters of support prior to the closing date will the downloaded copies count?
 
Feb 21, 2008
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Plymouth
As one of the most outspoken critics of this development in its current format, I think Jon is right that it's better for the club than to not have it. I do think it hugely limits our potential in the long-term but without a development of some kind who knows if there will be a long-term. I won't be happy about it, it will leave a sour taste in the mouth that it isn't what the club and the fanbase (IMHO of course) deserve. The situation I want is a bigger and better development but I think the time has come to swallow the bitter pill and hope for the least bad of two bad outcomes (again imo).

I don't think it's big enough, I think we should show the vision that Hull, Brighton etc did but having a club comes first. That's just bitter realism that I think our status as a club could be in serious danger without this stand's income. A real shame it's come to this choice but I'd give the plans my very grudging support.
 
Jan 29, 2006
3,421
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Canterbury
Good post Sam. If it's support the stand or the clubs finances are knackered it's pretty much holding a gun to our head. If that's the choice they're giving us then reluctantly they best get on with it. Shame they have to use this tack to get it rolling ahead but hey ho
 

PL2 3DQ

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Oct 31, 2010
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A good post Jon, although as Sue mentions, a collective letter could be seen as a petition.
The scaremongering and distorted facts coming from one certain protest group have been alarming.

It would also be helpful if the PASB and AFT sent letters of support to the Council, so far I haven't seen any letters from these fan groups published on the PCC website.
 
Jan 29, 2006
3,421
0
Canterbury
Support the stand or we can't guarantee the clubs financial stability going forwards. They'll say anything to get this over the line. Panic Not, regardless of any late surge in duplicate letters of support, I'm sure the development will get the green light on 15th August.
 
Jan 31, 2005
2,060
0
54
South Devon
www.pafc.co.uk
Thanks all for the above - I will author a template accordingly.

Just one thing, pafcintheplace - this isn't the ethereal 'them' saying this, this is my assessment of where we are, based upon everything that I seen & everything that I've heard which, given my fortunate place on the PASB, is quite extensive.

I actually think that the Club have been pretty objective in this matter; there's been little from Argyle lobbying fans for their overt support in this matter & not a jot of scaremongering that I've seen. The facts though - when fully scrutinised - are sobering.
 
Jul 12, 2011
1,947
59
Mountwise Plymouth
JonB":ry22bq3r said:
Thanks all for the above - I will author a template accordingly.

I actually think that the Club have been pretty objective in this matter; there's been little from Argyle lobbying fans for their overt support in this matter & not a jot of scaremongering that I've seen. The facts though - when fully scrutinised - are sobering.

The 2 recent home friendlies when giving your ticket to the steward you were passed it back with a flyer giving address details of where to write to have your say and support the club.

There were also messages over the tannoy.
 
Mar 9, 2011
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Jon B - Will a templated letter for all to use be accepted as an 'individual' vote of support? Or would this be seen more so as a petition and only count as '1' representation of support?

Sorry to ask again :oops: it's been a while now since I sent my letter off but I seem to remember seeing something mentioned somewhere about the above ^^^ and don't know / can't remember the actual answer to this. Just don't want to see the latter happen when trying to get more people to support the application.
 
Jul 14, 2008
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It won't do any harm but as a planning officer myself (albeit not for PCC) I can assure you that public opinion counts for very little. Sad but true.
 
Jun 9, 2006
3,903
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Somerset
PL2 3DQ":125b6wnx said:
A good post Jon, although as Sue mentions, a collective letter could be seen as a petition.
The scaremongering and distorted facts coming from one certain protest group have been alarming.

It would also be helpful if the PASB and AFT sent letters of support to the Council, so far I haven't seen any letters from these fan groups published on the PCC website.

Posty

The PASB has been hampered by certain members who do not support the development or elements of it.

However, now, the Chairman and some members have made it clear we need to support and the following statement has been sent to PCC and the Herald.

http://www.pasb.org.uk/2013/08/03/grandstand-statement/

Those of us that support this action hope all fans will rally round and send their messages of support for the club to PCC.

As always, this post is not on behalf of the PASB, only myself.