Grounds for home pride

Chesterfield FC's planned new stadium will have a design that the town can be proud of, architect Terry Ward believes.

Chesterfield FC's planned new stadium will have a design that the town can be proud of, architect Terry Ward believes.

Spireites supporter Mr Ward, a member of the executive club, has masterminded the rebuilding and construction of a host of stadia around the country, including the eye-catching Twickenham.

And he is confident that the Blues hoped-for new ground, at the former Dema Glass site, will help secure the club's future for the next 100 years.

''I want the design to be peculiar to the club and that when people see it they will know it is Chesterfield's ground.

''I don't want it to look like just another stadium, say something like Pride Park or the Riverside.

''It will not just be a tin shed – what I call 'pin-cushion architecture' – but we want to give it a bit of character,'' he said.

Mr Ward hosted a meeting with members of CFSS and displayed blueprints of how the new four-sided ground – with a proposed seating capacity of just under 11,000 – could look.

It is hoped to have sufficient room behind each stand for a future expansion of capacity, should it be required.

Mr Ward said that until the final costings had been worked out, a task that is impossible to complete at the moment, the actual stadium design could not be determined.

''It's very much a work-in-progress. There will be four stands, the pitch will be of regulation FIFA size, the sight-lines of the seats will be excellent and all the seats will be covered by a roof,'' he said.

The main stand, running alongside Sheffield Road at Whittington Moor, would look like an office block from the road and be a major generator of income for the club. ''At the moment the only income the club receives is on match days but we hope the main stand, on the west side of the new ground, will be all-singing and all-dancing.

''On the ground floor will be the club offices, changing rooms and shop while the first floor will have corporate hospitality facilities, for conferences and banquets, which can generate money 365 days a year,'' said Mr Ward.

At the rear of the stand opposite the main stand will be sufficient space to construct accommodation for the Blues' 'The Club's The Hub' community projects.

Floodlighting will be provided by four pylons at the corners of the new ground.

''The roofs of the stands will be about 40m off the ground, which is not high enough for lights. The floodlight pylons will act as beacons for the club and the town,'' said Mr Ward.

It was hoped to include terracing behind the goal for home supporters but that plan has been dropped on financial grounds. A terraced stand would cost up to 30 per cent more to build than one designed for seating.

Moves on the new-ground front are due to take a leap forward.

For in addition to the on-going demolition of the decaying Dema buildings, the new Town Plan is about to be published.

The plan, which is expected to include provision for a football ground at the site, is now thought to be with Chesterfield Borough Council's cabinet.

That would smooth the path for acquiring planning permission for the ground which the club hopes will be ready for the kick-off the 2008-09 season.

Mr Ward hopes to submit a firmed-up ground design to the Blues board meeting next month.

If planning permission is granted, it is hoped that building work can begin next spring.