A DECISION on whether to remove an order granting legal protection to the Macron Stadium will be made next month, after a supporters’ trust request to delay the proceedings was rejected.

The Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust (ST) successfully applied to have the football ground and surrounding land recognised as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) earlier this year, but club owner Ken Anderson is appealing the decision to Bolton Council.

While the ACV is in place none of the assets on the land — including the stadium itself, the Whites Hotel, offices and car parking land — can be sold without public notification.

A hearing at which the trust and the club will put forward their arguments has been set for October 2, after the trust was told it could not have its requested six-week adjournment to go through more than 500 pages of documents and ‘ensure fairness’.

The council says that this hearing is being held ‘in the interest of transparency and openness’, but it will not be open to the public or press.

Mr Anderson said yesterday that the process was wasting valuable time and money and asked the trust to withdraw its objections to the appeal.

He said: “We are contesting the ACV as we believe it is fundamentally restrictive to the progress we are trying to make at the club. It could have a knock on effect for any refinancing of the club and/or the hotel and the properties that were sold before my involvement, but that we are hoping to buy back in the near future.

“As I said earlier, this whole process is wasting our valuable time and is eating into our cash reserves, which could be better used elsewhere in the business. We have so far had to spend in the region of £25,000 contesting this. Hopefully, the Supporters’ Trust will see sense and not object to our appeal and save the club a great deal of cash and time, as well as the Trust’s funds.”

A supporters’ trust spokesman said: “The extensive paperwork now extends to over 500 pages of information and in light of this, the ST requested a period of adjournment of six weeks from September 7, 2017 to enable legal representation at the hearing and ensure fairness between all of the parties.

“On September 11, 2017, Bolton Council rejected this request.”

Skeleton arguments and witness statements are now required to be submitted by Monday for the hearing on October 2, where the council’s head of audit will determine whether the procedure in listing the ACV was properly followed.

A council spokesman said: “In the interest of transparency and openness, the council will be allowing both sides to make their case regarding the listing of the stadium as an asset of community value.

“A site visit will occur on the October 2 when the parties will also be able to present their written representations to the independent reviewing officer.

“A review decision will then be made by the independent reviewing officer of the council, who was not involved with the previous decision to list the stadium.”