Since the football season ended Bill, Oliver and I have been preparing the way so that we can get the heavy machinery onto the Whatman Way site and get the ground works started.
Having just completed the erection of a fence to stop the slow worms from returning to the site I am pleased to report that matters have been resolved to the satisfaction of the ecologists and they will give us the go ahead to start work on the ground. Once the ground works have started and the site is levelled we can install the fence on two sides and begin to secure the site.
We have had a number of legal obstacles to overcome with the difficulties over acquiring the land bank behind, what will be the East Stand, heading the list of problems. KCC have agreed to sell us the land bank and it is now in the hands of the solicitors.
UK Power will start the installation of the sub-station supplying electricity to the site on 19th August and the housing of the sub-station will begin in the next few days.
We are working closely with Maidstone Borough Council and submitting all of the alterations in the plans since the application was first lodged more than five years ago. These amendments are also being dealt with by the solicitors but I don’t anticipate any problems that we can’t overcome.
In planning and construction terms we are almost ready to go and we will be able to look at a start date in two to three weeks. Our target of completing the stadium by May 2012 means that we have to start, at the very latest, before the end of September.
Relief from the stresses and strains of the stadium project comes in the form of enjoying the highly promising start Jay and the lads have made to the new season. What is so good to see is the blend of youth and experience that looks so very exciting especially when I consider that more than 50% of the squad are either local lads or who have come through the Maidstone United youth system. I assume that the supporters of Hythe, Whitehawk and Bognor Regis are all thinking they have a squad that will get them into the Ryman Premier but I do think that we would never have been relegated if this squad had started last season.
Your support continues to be absolutely crucial to the club both for the 2011/2012 season and also helping the fund the stadium. We have spoken to many people who have said that they would become more involved once the building works starts. I can tell them it is only a matter of weeks away before work will start building a new home for Maidstone United Football Club.