Plans to take Portman Road to 'level required by Premier League' revealed

Ipswich Town have submitted an application to develop parts of Portman Road Stadium to Ipswich Borough Council.

Ipswich Town have submitted an application to develop parts of Portman Road Stadium to Ipswich Borough Council. - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town have submitted plans to redevelop parts of the Portman Road Stadium, bringing the ground up to the "level required by Premier League clubs".

The plans, which were received by Ipswich Borough Council yesterday, aim to improve the famous stadium in line with "the clear aspiration of the club owners" to take the club "back to the top tier of English football".

In the design and access statement submitted to the council, plans to cut out a corner of the stadium and reinforce the edges of the stands with new reinforced concrete walls were laid out. 

This is being done to allow large vehicle access in order to replace the existing pitch with a new, sand-based 'Desso' pitch featuring under-soil heating.

Planners note this will also help support the stadium's use as a concert venue in future off-seasons. 

In addition to this, the club plans to alter the home and away dugouts and install a new big screen, supported by steel framework painted white to match the south stand, on the south side of the ground.

The work to the dugouts and the southeast corner is planned for the end of the 2021-22 season, while the club intends to replace the pitch the following year.  

Improvements to the dugouts are also planned, with the creation of 16 high-quality seats for staff and players, as well as the required accommodation for medics and match officials. 

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The planning documents note these improvements would "bring the current arrangement up to the standard required by Premier League clubs".

The application documents conclude by stating: "The proposals submitted represent modest alterations to a famous old football ground, ensuring its continued use and improvement in line with the ambitious vision of the new owners."

A club spokesman said: “The club is aware of the plans that have been published regarding development of facilities at Portman Road. We will communicate more in the coming days.”

These developments come after Mark Ashton, Town chief executive, revealed he had a to-do list for the ground in May last year.

He said: "We'll take a good look at the stadium. We'll want to upgrade it and if we think that the plan is right to develop one of the stands, or more, then we'll put a plan in place for that."

Also on his list of priorities was a "modern" pitch.