Floodlight proposals hint at Portsmouth’s plans for Fratton Park’s future
Pompey have delivered a clear indication of the next stage of Fratton Park’s development.
But as the club await approval of proposals to remove an existing floodlight, Mark Catlin remains tight-lipped on future plans.
A planning application was lodged with Portsmouth City Council on March 28 seeking permission to relocate a disused floodlight pylon from the north-west side of the ground.
Listed as a ‘34m high lattice column’, the structure is earmarked to be moved into the north-east end of the North stand car park to provide greater illumination.
The floodlight, which is adjacent to the North stand and Fratton end, was among two switched off in September 2015.
Should Pompey’s application be given the green light, it will create space to renovate that corner of the ground.
The Milton end is already earmarked for summer work, which may include the complete removal of that disused floodlight.
Regardless, fans now have an inkling of what improvements are being lined-up by owners Tornante.
Chief executive Catlin said: ‘The two floodlights are currently not being used and you don’t really want to take them down just for the sake of it, so this ticks boxes both practically and historically.
‘As Michael (Eisner) has always said, the owners are committed, wherever possible, to keeping as much of the heritage and history of the club intact.
‘The North stand car park could do with additional lighting, so it makes sense to move one of the floodlights into the car park area.
‘That then frees up extra space within the stadium for any future projects which we may choose to embark upon. Any space within the stadium is obviously at a premium.
‘While we are not going public with our intentions, privately we have a pretty clear picture of strategically where we see the stadium going.
‘We have consistently said we will only comment on any project to do with the stadium when it is actually due to start.
‘I have to stress, the application is with the planning officer, nothing has been agreed.’
Fratton Park staged the Football League’s first match under lights in February 22, 1956, against Newcastle.
However, the present pylons were opened in October 1963, following a fundraising campaign by the old Portsmouth FC Supporters’ Club.
Catlin added: ‘We thought moving a floodlight was a very,very good idea and serves two purposes.
‘It can provide additional lighting for night matches and also retains a piece of our history, which is a key part of why Michael loves Fratton Park so much.’