County news February 9, 2010

Edgbaston gets development green light

Cricinfo staff

Warwickshire have announced that a proposed £30m ground redevelopment due to be completed in summer 2011 will now be able progress as planned after objections were raised by local residents.

It will be relief for Warwickshire after the ECB threatened to remove the ground's Test status after the redevelopment plans, proposed first in May 2009 were stalled by the Birmingham city council's planning committee.

At the time Gordon Hollins, the ECB's head of venue partnership, said: "Edgbaston falls some way short of ECB's facilities criteria in a number of areas which is clearly not a sustainable position if Edgbaston is to retain the right to host major matches."

However, with the plans now agreed there will be the construction of a major new stand on the south side of the ground, increasing capacity to 25,000 and a 500-plus cover banqueting suite and exclusive members' areas will be erected. Alongside this the players' and media area will be revamped.

Demolition of the old facilities commenced in mid-January and Warwickshire have been waiting for news, following an objection from a small residents group which took its case to the Court of Appeal, at the end of December. The application to appeal was rejected.

Colin Povey, the Warwickshire chief executive said: "The redevelopment of the ground is critical to ensure Edgbaston keeps its competitive edge and remains a worthy contender in the race to secure international matches.

"This result is not only fantastic news for us, our players, members and cricket fans, but also for the economy of the West Midlands. There is great excitement at the club about the proposed changes and I hope we can now look forward to starting the building work without further delay.

"The next 18 months will be an important chapter in the history of Edgbaston and Warwickshire county cricket club. Our plans have received strong support from the city council, Advantage West Midlands and the majority of local residents."