An enforcement notice prohibiting the use of the Ian Greaves Stand at Mansfield Town Football Club’s One Call Stadium has been issued by safety chiefs ‘following the club’s failure to demonstrate that current building works on the stand are not putting spectators’ safety at risk’.
Nottinghamshire County Council has issued the notice under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
A safety officer visited the stadium yesterdaty afternoon to issue the notice.
The building works, thought to be classroom and office space, have been carried out without approval from the County Council, which is required under the club’s General Safety Certificate.
Nottinghamshire Police, Mansfield District Council and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority have been consulted before the County Council took this action.
A structural engineer and safety specialist from the County Council are meeting with officials from the club this morning (Friday 31 August) to check that the necessary safety issues have been addressed so the Council can consider lifting the enforcement notice.
Legislation governing safety at sports grounds arises from tragedies such as the Hillsborough Football Stadium disaster in April 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans died, and the Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985 when 56 people died.
The County Council has a duty to issue a General Safety Certificate for designated sports grounds in Nottinghamshire, stipulating conditions which the club must comply with to protect the safety of spectators attending the ground.
The current total permitted ground capacity of the One Call Stadium is 6,823 compared with a maximum capacity of 9,096.
Rob Fisher, Group Manager responsible for emergency planning at the County Council said: “We’re not saying the stand is not safe, but the club has failed to provide evidence that the structural integrity and fire safety of the stand have been maintained.
“We have waited for this evidence since becoming aware of the building works which are still continuing.
“However, the safety of spectators is paramount and under these circumstances we must act to ensure this is not at risk, especially at tomorrow’s home fixture scheduled for this weekend.
“It is disappointing that the club has left this issue unresolved at such a late stage and Council officers with the necessary specialist knowledge are at the club this morning to consider whether the stand is safe for spectators to use tomorrow.”