Lancashire has postponed its Annual General Meeting next month as it considers the latest legal row which “poses a question mark over the financial future of the club.”
Bermuda-based Derwent Holdings is seeking leave to appeal the recent High Court decision upholding Trafford Council’s approval of redevelopment plans for Old Trafford to transform it into an Ashes venue.
Derwent was told by the High Court there were no grounds to appeal this month’s decision. Now it is seeking to overturn that refusal, and has indicated its intent to lodge an appeal with the Court of Appeal.
Lancashire said the legal battle is causing a major drain on club finances and there is a renewed risk of missing deadlines for public sector funds from the Northwest Development Agency.
Work on the latest £15m phase was scheduled to start in May.
LCCC’s chief executive Jim Cumbes said: “Despite being defeated emphatically in the High Court, and being refused leave to appeal by the High Court judge only last week, Derwent has announced its intent to try and over-turn the High Court judgment at the Court of Appeal in London.
“We have now been forced to take the unprecedented action of cancelling our proposed AGM, pending the outcome of this latest legal threat.
“Derwent have made so many attempts to derail our project and have been thwarted convincingly at every stage. We remain totally confident that, although they will attempt absolutely everything due to seemingly unlimited financial resources, that we shall succeed eventually.
“We promised that we will secure a new international cricket ground and bring huge benefits to both the local and regional community and economy. We’ve been supported on our long journey by Trafford Council, by councils across Greater Manchester and by the wider business community.”
Ask Developments’ Alan Burke says: “If this matter ever reaches the Court of Appeal we are confident that it will endorse the legality of Trafford Council’s decision to grant planning consent to our scheme in March 2010, as was the judgement reached by the Secretary of State and the High Court.
“It is the further delays that this latest threat poses to our ability to get on site and successfully bid for the 2013 Ashes that remains our constant worry.”
Derwent own the nearby White City retail park.