£50m Home Park leisure hub development set for kick-off
THE £50 million plan to transform Higher Home Park into a regional sporting and leisure hub is expected to be given approval next week.
Work will start this autumn if Plymouth City Council grants planning permission, Argyle boss James Brent said yesterday.
The scheme, outlined in The Herald earlier this year, will include a new grandstand at Plymouth Argyle's football stadium, a new ice rink, a ten-screen cinema and a hotel next to the Plymouth Life Centre.
Construction is expected to create more than 600 jobs during the two-year build and 400 on the completed site.
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More than £1million will be ploughed into park improvements at the same time.
Councillors on the city's planning committee will consider the ambitious project at their meeting next Thursday, and city council planning officers have recommended that full planning permission is granted.
Mr Brent's Akkeron Group will be required to sign an agreement on contributions to city infrastructure to mitigate the impact of the project.
The project will seen the long-promised redevelopment of the 1950s Mayflower stand.
The old stand will be demolished and rebuilt.
The new grandstand will hold hospitality and club retail facilities to generate new income for the team and put the club on a more sustainable financial footing.
The rest of the development will be on land behind the stadium which is now used for Argyle's car park and administration and hospitality buildings.
It will include a competition-standard ice arena to replace the rink at The Pavilions. The rink will have seating for 1,500.
Mr Brent is also planning an even bigger project to redevelop the Pavilions in the city centre. One of the conditions for him acquiring that site was that he must first build the new ice rink.
The Higher Home Park development will include a 120-bed hotel and one of the largest cinemas in the South West with ten screens, including an IMAX.
There will be more than 5,000 square metres of retail space, with room for 14 medium-sized shops or restaurants and a health centre including a dental practice.
Argyle's new south grandstand will have seating capacity for 4,800. It will include hospitality and conference facilities, players changing facilities and office.
The Herald was unable to contact Janice Hunt, acting chair of the Friends of Central Park, last night. The group opposes the scheme and has launched a petition against it.
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