QUADRANT: Arguments for development

Nathan Harrison
Nathan Harrison

Young fan Nathan Harrison stepped up to the plate to make the case for his club.

The 11-year-old (pictured) showed no nerves when telling councillors he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandparents and follow the Pilgrims for his entire life.

He said: “When I’m a lot older I want to say I’ve supported Boston United for 40 years.

“I wanted to speak today because I know if you don’t give permission for Boston to have a new ground I will not be able to do this any more.”

General manager John Blackwell stressed that the club’s community project is one of the best in the country and that the Quadrant would mean it could offer even more courses and activities.

He said: “Club are important ambassadors who promote our town throughout the country.”

Mr Blackwell added: “We are one of the towns major tourist attractions. If the football club are doing well it gives whole town a lift.”

Boston United Supporters’ Association chairman Glen Chapman said the club attracts crowds of more than 1,000 – and many more to its community programmes.

He told councillors: “I struggle to think of any other community facility visited by so many and so frequently in the Boston area.

He also reminded members that the ground would be run ‘by the community for the community’ by being held by a trust.

Former town planner and season ticket holder Roger Smith said new homes are desperately needed for Boston, as is a secure future for the football club.

He told councillors: “Boston without Boston United is almost as unthinkable as Boston without Boston Stump”

Fellow fan Stuart Hellon, who lives near to the proposed stadum site, said this was a development to be proud of, adding: “We currently have the highest rents in the East Midlands and some very poor housing stock, we need to have extra housing to give people choice.”

Neil Kempster, vice-chairman of the club and Chestnut Homes director, said the club is vital to the town and that they did not want to let it die.

He added: “Chestnut Homes has worked on this project for many years - we see this as the next logical step to our involvement in Boston.”

Designer Signet Planning’s James Hobson remarked: “This application is unsual in that there are more supporters than there are those opposing the scheme.”

Boston United chairman and Chestnut Homes managing director David Newton asked for the support of the committee to agree the Quadrant - which he said was ‘vital’.

He said: “When we took over at Boston United we stated that when we walked away we wanted to leave the club debt free, at the heart of the community with a secure future.

“The Quadrant development will help meet that aspiration.”

He asked councillors to consider that the plan would not just secure the football club but would also bring about new homes, boost the economy and bring jobs.