THE latest statement from the owners of Coventry Stadium indicates that a planning application for redevelopment will shortly be made.
This news is of little surprise in itself, in that a speculative application was always expected when it emerged that the stadium site would not be appearing on the forthcoming Local Plan to be published by Rugby Borough Council.
The timing of the statement appears somewhat coincidental, coming as it does at a time when the site is currently occupied by unwanted travellers.
Despite their arrival, we would be interested to discover quite how many local residents have “urged Brandon Estates Ltd to build new homes on the site as soon as possible”; certainly in comparison to those who have always opposed redevelopment and would much prefer to see the site remain in operation as a sporting venue.
Naturally we all want the travellers removed, and it is regrettable that they breached security to enter in the first place.
But it is fanciful and opportunistic to suggest that the local community wish to see a housing estate replace the speedway and stock car stadium simply in order to eradicate the problem of travellers.
The news of the planning application also comes in the weeks following the cessation of the police enquiry into the removal of assets last November, an enquiry which initially looked set to run throughout the year – which at the time was another barrier to the possible return of speedway and stock car racing.
We cannot comment publicly on what we believe to be the likely outcome of a planning application.
However, we can say that throughout the continuing battle to bring about the return of two sports which have been needlessly taken away from all those who enjoyed them, almost all of the many parties involved have been willing to engage in a positive manner.
There have been hours of meetings, talks, telephone calls and e-mails, and these will continue in a bid to bring back the sports we love.
But now more than ever is the time for all parties, including Brandon Estates and their Monaco-based director John Downer, to come to the table and work on a constructive way forward for all.