Northampton

Former Nene Park stadium 'could be demolished'

Nene Park, Irthlingborough
Image caption About £30m was spent on the facilities at the Nene Park stadium in Irthlingborough in Northamptonshire, which is now empty

The demolition of a football stadium that has been empty since 2012 could go ahead by the end of the month.

The application from Conalgen Enterprises Ltd has gone in to East Northamptonshire Council to knock down Nene Park.

The applicant claims the former home of Rushden & Diamonds is in a "dangerous condition" and the stadium is a major fire risk.

The work would take four months, at Station Road, Irthlingborough.

Plans to replace the stadium were previously submitted with shops and a cinema but this latest application is solely to demolish it.

Owners Conalgen Enterprises SA said the site would be the subject of a separate planning application, as reported in the Northamptonshire Telegraph.

In the application, it says: "The building is in a dangerous condition and is unsafe. The stadium is a major fire risk. The site is derelict and subject to wanton damage."

Image caption AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks said he has fond memories of his time playing at the stadium

A spokesperson for the council confirmed it had received a prior notice application for the demolition, but the council's role would be limited as it would not be called into the committee.

AFC Rushden and Diamonds issued a statement saying the club was saddened by the news.

However, it said it had proved since the formation of the club that its supporters, members and volunteers were the "heart and soul of our club" and not the ground in which the team plays.

Andy Peaks, who manages AFC Rushden & Diamonds, previously played at Nene Park.

"For me I've got some really fond memories of playing there.

"It was such a nice stadium and we had some really good times, and it's frustrating for me that a place as good as that is going to be knocked down," he said.

Nene Park, which had a capacity of 6,400, was opened by Sir Bobby Robson.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rushden and Diamonds's first home game as a Football League club was against Lincoln City in August 2001

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