Meeting with Vic Lyon, Leader of the Council
On Wednesday 10 July, 6 members of the committee of the BFCSA, met with Vic Lyon and Graham Beattie, Director of Environmental Services.
They were Steve Percy, Mark Ashfield, David Davis, Terry Hufford, Alex Jones and Geoff Masters. This meeting had been requested by us several weeks ago and before the announcement of the debate on Tuesday.
There was little new information and Mr Lyon went over the issues debated the previous evening. He acknowledged the good behaviour of the Barnet fans that turned up at the Town Hall.
The key issue is the Green Belt. It is Conservative policy to preserve this and hence it remains the stumbling block. As indicated on Tuesday, Mr Lyon will sympathetically consider any plans to upgrade Underhill but said he could not do this until the Club submits a new planning application. He would use his influence to speed up the process including consultation.
There was Conservative support for a "small intrusion" into Green Belt to the south, in line with the "plan" released by the last Council towards the end of 2000. It was pointed out that the existing 8-foot slope becomes a bigger problem because of the drop from the south of the ground into the cricket pitch. It was also pointed out to Mr Lyon that the Conference has a deadline of 2004 for bringing the stadium upto League standard.
In respect of the draft UDP (that includes de-designation of Underhill), Mr Lyon stated that this needs consultation and is subject to review by the GLA and Government Office for London.
He was reminded that notwithstanding any improvements to the existing Underhill site, a long-term solution is needed. He again confirmed that there would be a further review of all potential sites in the Borough.