GONW says no need for Old Trafford inquiry

Government Office North West has decided not to call in plans by Lancashire County Cricket Club, Tesco and Ask Developments to redevelop Old Trafford cricket ground.

The decision removes the final hurdle in the planning process to grant consent for the £70m project, aimed at securing Test cricket and bringing the Ashes back to Old Trafford.

Trafford Council approved the scheme in March but objectors complained the 100,000 sq ft Tesco store was unduly large for the area and anti-competitive.

Without substantial redevelopment, the England and Wales Cricket Board had confirmed that after this year's Test Match against Bangladesh there would be no more Test match cricket at Old Trafford and the future of international cricket in general would be in jeopardy. Construction work must start in the near future to meet strict deadlines set by the game's governing body.

Jim Cumbes, chief executive of LCCC, said: "This is an historic decision for the future of international cricket in the North West – we can now press on with redeveloping the famous Old Trafford cricket ground and securing our place as one of the world's best cricketing arenas.

"Government Office North West has backed the council's recognition of the important role the club plays in supporting Trafford's economy – especially through hosting international matches like the Ashes.

"And this decision backs the partnership's plans to deliver a much-needed new retail offering, hundreds of local jobs, and millions of pounds in regeneration to this part of the borough.

"With construction work now set to progress, I would personally like to thank everyone who has backed our proposals. We have been overwhelmed by the level of support and encouragement we have received."

Michael Kissman, Corporate Affairs Manager for Tesco said: "This is a flagship development for us in the Manchester area we are delighted that we can now proceed with the scheme and support the redevelopment of the cricket ground.

"This will create hundreds of jobs in the local area and most importantly half the jobs created in the Tesco store will be reserved for the long term unemployed."

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Come on! Make it happen now!

By Merv

This is an appalling decision – if a local referendum was held, Tesco wouldn’t stand a chance. What a terrible price for a sport club that can’t sustain itself. I hope the councillors who voted to pass the scheme realise they’ll never get re-elected, still, that will give them more time to watch the cricket!

By Carol

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