St Helens MP to Meet Morrisons Boss in Stadium Plea

St Helens MP Dave Watts is to meet Morrisons' chief executive Marc Bolland in a bid to convince the retail giant to drop their objections to plans for Saints new stadium.

The supermarket, which has two store in St Helens, is opposed to the scheme because of the involvement of their rivals Tesco, who will have a giant retail complex built into the new ground.

Mr Watts' meeting assumes greater importance after it was announced a date has finally been set to hear the planning application for the proposed stadium.

The news follows weeks of increasingly fevered protests by fans concerned plans for the new stadium could be shelved.

And on Tuesday Saints coach Daniel Anderson warned the club could be forced out of the borough if they did not get a new ground.

Saints announced last Thursday (April 3) plans for the stadium would heard on May 20.

Mr Watts, Labour MP for St Helens North, defended the length of time taken to bring the proposal to the planning stage.

He said: "I don't want to have a go at the coach because I understand that he just wants what is best for the team and wants a world class stadium for the fans - but I think if he had been talking to his chairman (Eamonn McManus) then he would have known more about what is going on.

"It is a complicated process. There are four separate applications and each one has to follow due process. If that doesn't happen then opponents will simply challenge it in the courts."If we take shortcuts then Morrisons could challenge it in the courts. I'm meeting Morrisons' chief executive to see if I can persuade him to drop his company's objection to the application."

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