GONW clears Morecambe FC stadium

The 7,000-capacity stadium, hotel and leisure complex proposed by Morecambe FC will not be called in for a public inquiry, the Government Office for the North West has confirmed.

GONW was asked to judge the approval due to the development's size and proprietary issues as the stadium will occupy land owned by the council.

"It's a fantastic outcome," said Andrew Watt, partner at Maze Planning Solutions, advisor to the club. "The club's directors and the development team have been on tenterhooks since the application was referred to the Secretary of State earlier this month. Privately, we were always confident of securing this outcome because the application was so carefully conceived and thoroughly reviewed by Lancaster City Council.

"Once we've sorted the S106 planning agreement the club can press on with the development. All being well there should be some action on site in late spring 2009 to ensure the players and staff can take up residence for the start of the 2010-2011 season."

The new ground, replacing Christie Park, will include eight restaurants, a 55-bed budget hotel and community sports facilities. The scheme was designed by Manchester architects the Harris Partnership with Lancaster engineering consultant RG Parkins.

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