City Ground redevelopment plans finally given green light

Nottingham Forest FC’s plans to redevelop the City Ground have been green lit by Rushcliffe Borough Council, marking the culmination of a process that began over three years ago.

Just over a year ago Forest submitted revised plans to expand the Peter Taylor Stand by 5,000 seats and create a new, 169-flat residential block at the ground.

The new Peter Taylor Stand, which will have a raft of hospitality and conferencing facilities inside, will be roughly equivalent in height to the Brian Clough Stand.

In its planning application Forest said that the redeveloped City Ground would contribute £802m to the local economy over the next decade.

In March 2021, the club said that redeveloping a stadium in an established residential area had “added complexity”, but insisted it was optimistic its application would be successful during the 2021 calendar year.

That didn’t happen, but today’s news will only add to the feeling of jubilation that has spread across the city following Forest’s historic promotion in May.

Today (28 July) it emerged that a combined total of 344 jobs will be created as a result of the club’s promotion and the stadium redevelopment.

Key figures from the city’s business community have been reacting to the news.

Ben Dorks, CEO of global software company Ideagen told “Nottingham is an ambitious city, home to globally successful businesses, two world-renowned universities and now a top-flight club in one of the most televised leagues in the world. The development of the City Ground will mean Forest will have a stadium that matches that ambition and I for one can’t wait to see it, sit in it and celebrate three points in it.”

Bev Cook, managing director of Simple Marketing Consultancy and a lifelong Forest supporter, told us: “The women’s Euro’s has once again put football in the spotlight and built excitement for our great game. I’m thrilled that the plans for the City Ground have been approved at long last as Nottingham needs this venue to be updated. Money spent by visiting supporters will benefit the local economy in so many ways and hopefully the opportunity to host future world televised events like this will once again be possible.”

David Torrington, managing director at Capella Professional and Sky Recruitment Solutions, which has an office in Nottingham, added: “I’ve been a Nottingham Forest fan for 46 years, and without doubt this is the most exciting time I can remember for the club! Back in the Premier League, investment in the infrastructure, the owner showing faith in Steve Cooper by backing him in the transfer market, and now this news – there hasn’t been a ‘feel good’ factor like this for many years.”

Planning officer Andrew Ashcroft acknowledged the complexity of the application at the committee meeting today, but said that throughout the process there had been a “healthy overlap” between the public’s reaction and the committee’s findings.

He added that the current status of the football club “reinforces the need” to expand the stadium and noted that the new facilities will extend its usage beyond match days.

In a statement, Nottingham Forest FC said: “Today’s decision represents a significant landmark in the journey to redevelop the historic City Ground site and represents the culmination of 3 years of dedicated work by the club and its advisers.

“We believe that the development of the site is crucial to maintaining the club’s status in the Premier League and all of the benefits to the local community and economy which this status brings.

“The development will also represent the physical manifestation of the desire of the club’s owner Mr Marinakis to leave a historic legacy at the football club.

“The decision now opens the door to the club to have detailed discussions with its advisers and partners on how and when the development will be delivered.

“These discussions will be undertaken as soon as practicable and the club remains determined to provide the wonderful supporters of the club with a stadium of which they can be truly proud in the modern era.”