Fratton Park Tesco scheme nears start

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

The first moves in the scheme to redevelop the Fratton end car park will be put into motion later this month.

On November 24, work will begin on creating new parking facilities behind the North Stand in Anson Road.

That follows the stipulation alternative parking around the stadium must be introduced before Point Estates can start the construction of a Tesco store.

Stuart Robinson, who heads the company, previously purchased the Fratton end land from administrators David Rubin & Partners, who were acting on behalf of Sacha Gaydamak.

A subsequent deal with Pompey and Portsmouth City Council then saw the club presented with land in Anson Road, across from Fratton Park.

Now work is to begin with a car park completion date of January 17 – in time for the visit of Burton Albion.

Then attention will turn to around 10 acres of land, including the Fratton end car park, which will be redeveloped as part of Point Estates’ Tesco scheme.

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘Work on the development at the Fratton end won’t begin until the car park is ready for us to occupy behind the North Stand, with a November 24 start pencilled in.

‘The North Stand parking will have to be done and dusted before they start anything to do with the Tesco development.

‘That will involve tarmacing, fencing it off, generally making good of land which is largely disused.

‘In the short-term we are also going to do a bit of tidying up at the back of the North Stand, getting rid of all the graffiti and making it clean and tidy.

‘We currently hire the Fratton end car park and I think it is fair to say it will be financially beneficial for us to make the move to land we actually own.

‘Although, we have a lot of contractual obligations in terms of finding car parking for the players, match officials, the away directors, so they will take up many of the spaces.

‘I am not sure at this moment in time the precise number of spaces the new car park will have.’

As part of the timetable, the visit of Accrington Stanley (December 13) will see the existing Anson Road parking closed but Fratton end facilities open.

For AFC Wimbledon (December 26) and Tranmere (January 3) both car parks will be in use.

The Fratton end land will not be in use from January 5 but by the time Burton travel to Fratton Park on January 17 Anson Road should be complete.

There is also the potential for a home FA Cup second round tie against Northampton or Rochdale on December 6.

Regardless, once the car park has been completed questions will turn to how the club plan to use money also received from Point Estates as part of the project.

Catlin added: ‘The last thing you want to do is really take anything for granted, so we’ll let work start and wait until everything is done and dusted.

‘Then the board will make a calm, considered decision and obviously do what is right for the club moving forward.

‘Nobody wants to count their chickens before they hatch, there will follow a period of consultation and talks about where we proceed from there.‘