Chairman praises support of city council after proposed development takes a step closerExeter City chairman Julian Tagg praised the steadfast support of the city council after the proposed development of St James Park took a step closer.
St James Forum had put in an application to judicially review Exeter City’s Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the scheme, which will see student accommodation built on land behind the Big Bank to enable the club to knock down the Old Grandstand and replace it with a new 1,600-seater stand.
However, the Forum’s application for a judicial review was rejected by the courts last week and the group has decided not to appeal that decision.
It means, after months of delays, the proposed development of the stadium can get back on track and Tagg said the club owed a debt of gratitude to Exeter City Council, and its leader Pete Edwards, for their unwavering support.
Julian Tagg said: “We are really grateful that councilor Pete Edwards has shown such leadership qualities in remaining resolute in his, and the council’s, intentions to deliver on these plans which will benefit the University, the football club and, ultimately, the St James ward by the improvements it will bring to a pretty dilapidated stadium area.
“He and the council have supported a proposed project that there have been lots of strong views about, both for and against, and we understand how difficult it is for politicians to carry things through when there is such a variety of different opinions all extremely valid dependent on your point of view. It can’t have been easy, but he has displayed great authority and direction.”
Tagg also reiterated that Exeter City FC would continue to work, as it always has done, as closely as possible with the St James Forum. At all times they have conducted themselves highly professionally and respectfully and the club will do everything it can to support its residents and an area so important to both groups of people.
So, with the development now back on, City fans will be keen to know when work on improving the ground will begin, but Tagg suggested that there was further need for supporters to be patient.
“Despite all the work that has been done there have been so many false dawns to this project,” he said. “Due to the continued uncertainty much of the forward planning work has had to be put on hold. However, once again that will start in earnest during the next couple of weeks when we can get the various bodies and meetings together to discuss the way forward.
Tagg went on to say that: “whilst there have been so many that have worked tirelessly to get to this point that need and should and will be thanked further later, mention and special thanks, at this point, must go to Club Director David Lee and Club Planning lead Mike Phillips who both deserve enormous credit.”