Clark still expects new home

Cannon Park, Leverton Road, Retford.'Worksop Town FC vs Chasetown.'Picture: Far right is Worksop Town FC Chairman Jason Clark. w100918-6i
Cannon Park, Leverton Road, Retford.'Worksop Town FC vs Chasetown.'Picture: Far right is Worksop Town FC Chairman Jason Clark. w100918-6i

Worksop Town chairman Jason Clark still expects a new home for his club at the former Vesuvius site, as the developers and the council ‘finalise’ their plans.

Developers Commercial Estates Group have confirmed to the Guardian that they and Bassetlaw Council have been working closely with a view to finally moving the long-running and often controversial project forward.

And although David Hodgson from CEG neglected to mention a football ground in his statement, Clark insists he’s as hopeful as ever that Tigers will gain a new home when work is completed on the site. Hodgson’s statement said: “We are working closely with Bassetlaw District Council to finalise the plans for the former Vesuvius UK site.”

“The proposals are set to deliver a mixed-use development incorporating a new ASDA superstore, creating more than 300 jobs in the local area.”

A spokesman for Bassetlaw Council added: “We are in constructive discussions with the owners of the Vesuvius site.”

Clark (pictured) says although he’s been in communication with the council, he’s not aware of the nature of their talks with the developers.

“My expectations are that the council will work with the developer to deliver the new home for the football club, in line with the commitments that have been made,” he told the Guardian.

“There has been an ongoing dialogue between the club and the council, I’m not certain how much progress has been made as I’m not party to the conversations the council has with the developer. I do however remain optimistic.”

The Worksop Town owner, and UK chief executive of Proact, revealed his own personal investment in the attempts to secure a long term home for Tigers.

“Personally I have invested close to £30,000 in the planning process, with architects and lawyers looking at plans and leases etcetera.”

“If the development goes ahead, I don’t anticipate any other outcome other than the Tigers getting a new home, and I’ve had no formal communication to say otherwise.”

Initial plans for the site were rejected by Bassetlaw Council’s planning committee, to the disgust of Worksop Town fans, who protested outside Retford Town Hall in 2010 alongside Bassetlaw MP John Mann and current council leader Simon Greaves.

If CEG and the council’s planning department come to an agreement on proposals, it will be down to Coun Greaves and his council members to decide on the exact extent of the community provision, and whether or not Worksop Town will get a new ground.

Tigers are currently tenants of Sandy Lane leaseholder Pete Whitehead, who is expected to move his own club Parramore back to Sheffield in 2014.