Derby County have submitted plans to extend the East Stand at Pride Park Stadium to create facilities that will enhance the match-day experience for supporters.
But it is not the first time that the club has put forward proposals to provide extra facilities for Rams fans. In fact, plans to add more restaurants and bars at the stadium have been around for a decade.
It was in 2007 that the Rams first announced a proposed £20 million development, to be built next to the stadium, called Pride Plaza.
The ambitious scheme was planned for the west side of the stadium. Initial proposals included restaurants, bars, banking, office space and a retail convenience store set in landscaped, pedestrian-friendly areas.
The scheme also aimed to pay tribute to names from the club’s past, with squares named after Derby’s greatest ever player and goalscorer Steve Bloomer and legendary manager Brian Clough.
But the proposals were mothballed after the American owners took over Derby County.
The original Plaza scheme included a bank and offices as well as new bars and restaurants
It was not until four years later, in 2011, that the scheme was resurrected and Derby County submitted its plans to Derby City Council.
By then, the size of the scheme – renamed The Plaza @ Pride Park – had been scaled down somewhat to a £7 million development.
The plans included five cafes/restaurants, two convenience stores and 2,000 square metres of office space.
At the time, Derby County’s then chief executive Tom Glick, said the development would help the club deal with Financial Fair Play regulations that were due to be introduced in the Football League in 2012.
The plans were later scaled down to a £7m scheme
He said that revenue from the Plaza, to be built at the North East Corner of the stadium, would be reinvested back into the club.
Planning permission for the development, which would have created around 200 jobs, was granted by Derby City Council in January, 2012 – but the scheme was held up due to councillors’ concerns about parking and the development had to wait until a travel plan was produced.
The following year, the club launched a search for operators to take space at the Plaza.
The aim had been to have it open by the summer of 2013. But building work could not start on the development until the club had guaranteed tenants in place.
In 2013, at the last home game of the season against Millwall, Rams fans were given a glimpse of what the first phase of the scheme would look like.
That initial phase would have provided a mixture of retail and restaurant units. At the time, the club said that it hoped the Plaza would benefit from another major development that was being built nearby – Derby Arena. The scheme then went quiet.
Derby County 2-0 QPR
Now, Derby County, under the ownership of Mel Morris, have submitted new plans that effectively usurp the Plaza @ Pride Park scheme.
The extension to the East Stand contains some of the elements proposed in the Plaza scheme such as new bars and restaurants.
In planning documents submitted as part of the application it is spelled out that the club no longer intends to push ahead with the Plaza development – and that the East Stand extension effectively replaces that scheme.
Source: Derby Telegraph