'How will people get there' says City Council leader over Nottingham Forest City Ground move

The land in Toton was originally purchased for development around a planned HS2 station
The land in Toton was originally purchased for development around a planned HS2 station -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

Nottinghamshire council leaders are at loggerheads over the potential for Nottingham Forest to leave the City Ground and build a brand new stadium in Toton. David Mellen, Nottingham City Council's leader, has questioned how people would get there and whether it is right to send people "halfway to Derby to watch a Nottingham team."

But Ben Bradley, Nottinghamshire County Council's leader and a Forest fan, says the City Ground is "not fit for purpose" and that a new stadium could be "pretty amazing." Reds owner Evangelos Marinakis says moving to a bigger facility will set the club "on the right path."

The potential Toton move came about after Forest went public with their opposition to a rent increase demand from Nottingham City Council. The council, which owns the land on which the City Ground sits, reportedly want to increase annual rent from £250,000 to over £1 million.

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The authority has also offered Forest the chance to buy the stadium outright for £10 million. Despite that, discussions continue about the potential for Nottingham Forest to be based on land in Toton once earmarked for HS2.

Speaking about that idea, Councillor David Mellen said: "I would ask, how are people going to get there? They're going to have to have very big car parks because the public transport to Toton is not as luxurious as the public transport to the City Ground.

"You can get maybe 100 people standing on the tram, but that's a few journeys of the tram to get people out there if they want 30 odd thousand every week. Do we really want to pollute the environment more by having extra car journeys when they're not necessary?


"Is that the right way for people to go halfway to Derby to watch a Nottingham team? I think all those things need to be considered."

Councillor Ben Bradley on the other hand said he could see the appeal of a Toton move. The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, which owns the parcel of Toton land in question, said in a statement on X: "I hope that the city are genuine in their offer to negotiate with the club over the land.

"On the other hand it's clear that being able to bring in the revenue will have a huge impact on the club's ability to compete, and the reality of the City Ground is some folks having to queue for 20 minutes to get in the turnstiles or to get a pint because some of the facilities aren't actually fit for purpose.

"A state of the art new home - something with character and not a soulless box - could be a huge statement. I've been round the Tottenham Stadium and it's pretty amazing."