HEREFORDSHIRE Council leaders say they are reviewing projects such as the £14.375 million regeneration plans of Edgar Street stadium in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Council leaders were expected to approve the first stage of the project at a meeting in March.

However, the cabinet meeting was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and councillors are yet to say whether they will actually go ahead with the scheme as previously planned.

Mr T Pincham asked council leaders at a recent meeting when the scheme would go ahead?

“I note the cabinet was originally due to approve the £14.375m investment for student and or key worker accommodation, a community room and spectator provision located on Blackfriars Street at Hereford Football Club,” he said.

“However, the cabinet meeting of March 31 was obviously cancelled due to Covid-19 so a decision to approve was postponed.

“All three elements of this specific project have the potential to provide significant economic and social value to the city centre.

“As such, may I ask when the council will now proceed with a technical design and full planning submission as originally planned for discussion by the cabinet in March?”

The environment, economy and skills cabinet member said they hoped to make a decision as soon as possible but that reviews were underway given the pandemic.

“Clearly in light of the coronavirus crisis we do need to review our capital program,” she said.

“That’s work that is ongoing as we speak. It is clearly of central importance to us as to the questioner that our investments deliver maximum economic and social value to the community.

“That is the basis for doing this review and we will make decisions on specific projects as soon as possible.”

Finance officers had estimated the first stage of the refurbishment will cost £1.71m – this includes achieving planning permission and developing a fully costed technical design for the project.

The redevelopment plans include an accommodation block with around 103 en-suite units for students or key workers.

The accommodation would provide two entrances, together with space for students to socialise and carry out shared project working and will include laundry, offices and cycle storage on the ground floor together with separate bin storage for use by students and Hereford FC.

The proposals also includes an option for a further partial-floor with around 12 en-suite student or key worker accommodation units and the block will include space on the ground floor suitable for commercial or community activities.

Part of the scheme includes a new stand, at a cost of up to £2.5m, which will replace the structurally unsound and unusable structure at the Blackfriars Street end.

It would include a ground floor concourse with spectator facilities, commercial space and facilities for away supporters.

The stand would be suitable for Hereford FC’s needs and has potentially for wider community use.