We are pleased to inform our members that the decision preserves the ACV listing over the major part of the Macron stadium. The hotel, offices in the north stand and car parks B and C have been removed. The exclusion of parts of a bespoke stadium from the listing is in our view misplaced.
By way of background, the legislation behind the ACV listing process, once property has been nominated, dictates that the assessment and preservation of the ACV status is the responsibility of the relevant local Council. We would highlight that the decision is that of Bolton Council after a Review was requested by the club and Prescott Business Park. We would state that whilst we nominated the areas for Asset of Community Value status it is Bolton Council who initially approved the nomination and after the Review the current status is once again Bolton Council’s decision.
In the spirit of reconciliation, it is not the intention of the BWFCST to challenge the decision of Bolton Council. We would observe that potential sale or application for planning permission of the areas now excluded from the ACV status would clearly impact on the enjoyment and use of the majority of the stadium, should there be a future change of use.
We believe throughout the process from December 2016, we have always had the club’s interest at heart as we sought to give the limited protection to the club’s assets through the ACV and ensure transparency in property transactions. The actions of the BWFCST have been repeated in dozens of instances around the country in respect of football stadia.
Now that a decision has been made, we urge all the parties to work together for the benefit of the club and its community. We will work towards this end. We have initiatives to further support the club, continue with Academy initiatives as directed by the members in a series of questionnaires, continue to explore the improvement of the supporter experience and to ensure that the voice of the supporter is presented to the club.
After recent encouraging performances on the field, we hope that we can all look forward to a more positive outlook for our club on all fronts.