IT has now been confirmed that the owners of Brandon Stadium will stand trial for their alleged security failings at the site later this year.
Rugby Borough Council brought about a case against Brandon Estates due to their repeated breaches of a Community Protection Notice, with the time period under consideration covering a six-month spell in the middle of 2019.
After several case management hearings over the last year, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court have advised the Save Coventry Speedway & Stox Campaign Group, in writing, that a date has now been set for a full trial, which will begin on Monday October 11 and is expected to last for around four days.
We must commend Rugby Borough Council for their perseverance with this case, which must have proved costly for themselves, and yet is wholly necessary due to the owners’ abject failure to secure the site and protect the local residents.
One big irony of the situation is that in the time since the case was brought against the owners, the security has actually become substantially worse – despite protestations to the contrary.
In August 2020, Brandon Estates’ new PR company Thirty4/7 Communications provided an update which stated the owners had been “working closely with our security advisors and, where appropriate, the police to secure the site.”
But that was at a time when they had withdrawn the daily security visits, and naturally the incursions, damage and inconvenience to residents have continued and escalated.
We have photographic evidence from as recently as Easter weekend showing people entering the stadium through open doors and long-standing gaps in fencing. Any ‘repairs’ in these areas are made in an untimely and totally ineffective way and are easily breached.
Local residents, who are at the end of their tether, in fact believe there could be people living inside the stadium.
All of this footage continues to be shared with the Council so there is an accurate timeline of events which cannot be disputed. The evidence is overwhelming.
What makes this situation all the more remarkable is that a search of Companies House records reveals the stadium owners in fact have close links with two security companies!
The fact that these companies are not involved at Brandon can only lead to the conclusion that Brandon Estates have no regard whatsoever for the security of the site, or the constant inconvenience suffered by local residents, who know the situation is not improving regardless of how often they call the emergency services.
Instead, we believe the owners’ inactivity is all part of a carefully designed tactic of ‘wearing down’ the opposition to their plans in order that they will eventually secure the change of use they require for the site.
But the opposition is not being worn down. Quite the reverse, in fact – the demand for this site to return to its proper sporting use, over four years after its outrageous forced closure, is stronger than ever.
The summer statement also referred to “revised plans for the site” being presented “shortly” – yet nearly eight months on, there has been no sign of this whatsoever.
An offer for the stadium made last May by a highly credible businessman, to restore it for sporting use and therefore immediately end the misery for residents, remains on the table and has been neither accepted nor rejected by the owners.
We will be issuing a further, detailed communication next month which we are sure will prove to be of interest.