"Site eyed up for new Coventry City stadium is old Woodlands school"

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"Site eyed up for new Coventry City stadium is old Woodlands school"

Postby dutchman » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:46 am

The mystery site being eyed up for a new stadium for Coventry City is the old Woodlands school location, we can reveal

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The Coventry Observer has learned the former Woodlands Academy, which closed three years ago, has been the subject of approaches and discussions between the club’s property agents and Coventry City Council for some time.

The council is both the planning authority and the site’s owner.

The site was provisionally considered for a potential stadium and “enabling development” such as housing or retail – but talks have been slow to progress.

It has also been provisionally earmarked for educational facilities.

The club had previously also been interested in the site for its academy, which has now extended lease arrangements at the Higgs centre in Alard Way.

Last week, amid the intensifying Ricoh Arena dispute which threatens to see the Sky Blues evicted by landlords Wasps from next month, the club’s owners Sisu alleged in a statement that the council had been “dragging its feet” for a year, holding up progress on an unnamed council-owned site.

Council leader George Duggins had told a full council meeting the previous week that the club’s agents had been in discussions over a new stadium on previous occasions, and had met that day.

We can now reveal the site is the one off Broad Lane in the city, left vacant when the former Woodlands Academy merged with nearby Tile Hill Wood school in 2016.

It follows Coventry City’s owners previous interest in a groundshare with Coventry rugby club at an expanded Butts Park Arena, where there was once talk of a stadium of anywhere between 12,000 or over 20,000 seats – depending on promotions for Coventry City.

That was until Cov rugby club chairman Jon Sharp announced in 2016 that the rugby club had gone cold on any such proposal, and would not deal with the football club’s owners Sisu amid the acrimony of the dispute.

Many commentators considered there to be potentially major issues to overcome with the Butts Park Arena site, including with transport and access – although the football club’s advisors maintained it was feasible, provided there was council goodwill.

Similar public and council concerns would be bound to emerge regarding any proposal for Woodlands.

There have been flooding and highways issues nearby. The area has also seen housing development at nearby Bannerbrook Park on Banner Lane. More housing is earmarked for Eastern Green. Tile Hill station is nearby.

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