Old Trafford rebuild gets green light
Jul 04 2011 - 18:00:13
Plans for the £32 million ($51 million) redevelopment of Old Trafford cricket ground were given the go-ahead by England' Court of Appeal on Monday, paving the way for the Manchester venue to be in contention to stage an Ashes Test in 2013.
A property company said a local authority was wrong to give Lancashire County Cricket Club permission to redevelop its home ground and asked the court to block the plan -- which includes proposals for the creation of a giant supermarket near the ground - and asked the Court to block the scheme.
But three judges disagreed and said the redevelopment should go ahead. They said they would give reasons for their decision at a later date.
Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes said the decision was one of the most significant events in the north-west club's 154-year history and that redevelopment was essential to preserving the ground's international status.
"This is one of the biggest days in the club's history," said Cumbes.
"If we don't redevelop then 150-odd years of history would have been in danger of disappearing," the former Lancashire bowler and Aston Villa goalkeeper added.
"With redevelopment, I am confident that Old Trafford can continue as an international cricket ground.
"Today's decision means the work can start and we can get the spades out."
Old Trafford opened in 1857 and first staged Test cricket in 1884. It was the venue where England off-spinner Jim Laker took a record 19 out of a possible 20 Australian wickets in an Ashes Test in 1956.
The ground is close to but separate from the home of Manchester United football club that is also named Old Trafford.