Ashes dream alive as Derwent appeal dismissed
Work to transform Old Trafford into a modern ground fit for the return of Australia in 2013 will begin immediately after this summer's internationals, following the Court of Appeal's decision in favour of Lancashire County Cricket Club on Monday.
Jim Cumbes, chief executive of LCCC, said last night: "After seven years of hard work and tough battles, we can say the future for the club is now brighter.
"We were confident of winning and we are happy we have now seen the end of a protracted legal process which has been draining the club financially."
The judges at the Court of Appeal in London took a matter of minutes to dismiss the judicial review plea from Albert Gubay's development company Derwent Holdings against Trafford Council's approval of the club's ground re-development plans.
The Derwent case was dismissed by the judges with no leave to appeal. Derwent owns the nearby White City retail park.
Cumbes added: "It's been a frustrating process in which Mr Gubay's own plan for a rival food store at White City was rejected by the planning inspector and then a public inquiry. His Judicial Review challenge seemed to us a pointless exercise, but it did create huge uncertainty due to its financial implications."
The club had already started implementing its legal planning consent by moving ahead with the installation of four new 53m high floodlights, which will be completed by mid-July.
The main construction work will begin after the England v India Twenty20 game on 31 August.
Cumbes said: "The aim of this project was to bring back the Ashes to Old Trafford in 2013. Now we can start improving our chances of turning that dream into reality."
The club's plans include £32m of investment in new pitches, stands, improved player and media facilities and an extension to the indoor cricket school and public areas. Two new grandstands and a refurbished pavilion will ensure a capacity of 15,000, capable of rising to 25,000 with temporary seating, and a screen showing action replays, and the new floodlights. The development, which includes a 100,000 sq ft Tesco food store on land nearby, will bring investment of at least £70m and over 500 jobs into parts of Trafford which suffer from low levels of economic activity and employment.