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Town win legal fight to build new stand

PUBLISHED: 08:36 01 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks has revealed that part of the club's new North Stand could be open in just weeks after a legal battle to halt its development failed.

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks has revealed that part of the club's new North Stand could be open in just weeks after a legal battle to halt its development failed.

He said the club hoped "justice had been done from every party's perspective" after Ipswich woman Rose Malster failed in fresh legal moves aimed at blocking further development of the stand.

Ms Malster, who lives in Alderman Road, about 50 metres from the Portman Road ground, had sought permission to appeal against a High Court ruling in August that backed Ipswich Borough Council's approval of a replacement North Stand.

However, the Court of Appeal refused her leave to appeal and also refused her leave to refer the matter to European courts.

Lord Justice Pill said the court considered the decision of the council to give consent had been a decision it had been entitled to take and had not contravened rules relating to environmental assessments.

Speaking from Sweden where Ipswich Town take on Helsingborgs in the UEFA Cup tonight, Mr Sheepshanks said: "It is very good news that Ipswich Borough Council's original decision and protocol in terms of the way they have handled the application has been totally vindicated.

"This has been hanging over us for a number of months. We had hoped it was over when the High Court judge threw it out conclusively in August.

"We have been carrying on building under legal advice, but it is never helpful with this hanging over us.

"We have to fulfill very stringent safety standards, but we are hoping to meet these in time for part of the lower tier of the North Stand to be open in time for the home game against Bolton (on November 18)."

Mr Sheepshanks said they had also been awarded half the costs in fighting the legal action.

n An Ipswich Town 1981 UEFA Cup winners medal is returning home to Portman Road.

The club bought the gold medal in a sports memorabilia auction at Bonhams in London yesterday, despite stiff competition, to bring it into the club's ownership.

It sold for £3,100, more than double the guide price of £1,200 to £1,500, and Ipswich Town museum curator Pat Godbold said: "I am very pleased the club has got it."

The medal will probably be displayed initially in the new club reception area display cabinets. It has also bought Sir Alf Ramsey's medals from his time at Ipswich Town for its museum.

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