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Kent to unveil ambitious ground plans

Kent has grand plans for its St Lawrence ground in Canterbury.
Kent has grand plans for its St Lawrence ground in Canterbury.

KENT County Cricket Club has written to 4,000 residents close to its headquarters inviting them to a public exhibition of the club’s ambitious redevelopment plans.

The county will launch its vision for a new St Lawrence ground in Canterbury at Monday night’s annual meeting for club members, but will also host a public exhibition of the scheme at the ground on Thursday from 2pm.

Under outline plans Kent hope to sell the Bat and Ball playing field, practice nets and top car park areas for housing in order to part finance a new stand, hospitality units and conference centre.

Linked in with that scheme, the club would construct new offices nearer to Old Dover Road and then hope to tie up negotiations with business partners in order to build a hotel and separate health club at the site.

In announcing the public exhibition and proposed improvements to Kent’s historic ground and base since 1870, club chief executive Paul Millman explained that change is inevitable if cricket in the city is to survive.

He said: "We want to create a sustainable cricket club in Canterbury and these proposals are intended to do that. The exhibition will allow residents to see our plans and let us know their views on them.

"We want to know what local residents and stakeholders think about the plans before we finalise the details and submit a planning application."

The club also confirmed it has commissioned independent community consultation specialists Green Issues Communications to analyse public reaction to the scheme and submit their findings to Canterbury city council.

Councillors, club members and local businesses have also been invited to take part in the consultation by attending the public exhibition.

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