POMPEY’S chief executive has said plans to build a Tesco superstore at Fratton Park will help the club to move forward.
As reported, a planning application has now been submitted by Point Estates – the company behind the project – to Portsmouth City Council to build a Tesco superstore on the land behind Fratton Park.
As part of the deal, Point Estates is putting cash towards improvements at the ground.
Mark Catlin, the chief executive officer at the club, said: ‘There is substantial financial investment that we can use to do some redevelopment at Fratton Park which in certain areas is desperately needed.
‘Anyone who knows that side of the north stand knows it’s an eyesore. It doesn’t send out a great image for the city and the club.
‘It will be massive for the whole area and regeneration around Fratton. We can’t wait to get this going and for the club to move forward.
‘The north stand is the most neglected stand in the stadium.
‘It’s in need of work. This development gives us the opportunity to undertake that.
‘The car parking and the access will be so much easier for our supporters.’
The lease on a parcel of land off Anson Road, currently leased by Point Estates, will be transferred to Portsmouth Community Football Club Ltd and, subject to planning permission being granted, will be turned into a 250-space car park.
Mr Catlin said this development will secure a future at Fratton Park for at least the next few years.
‘Fratton Park is the spiritual home of Portsmouth Football Club,’ he said. ‘You can’t get away from that.
‘As a business all we can realistically plan for is the next five years.
‘We aren’t going to be going anywhere away from Fratton Park in that timescale.
‘The fans in the past have been overpromised.
‘We want to concentrate on what is developable and that is a refurbishment of the north stand.’
If approved by the council, work on improvements to land behind the north stand could begin this summer.
The Tesco could open in 2015.