Wildcats fans campaign for new stadium as the fight continues

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will have a new home after receiving notification that the Secretary of State has passed planning permission for the Newmarket Development that will include a Community Stadium. The 12,000 capacity stadium at junction 30 of the M62 is expected to be complete in time for the Wildcats to take their place as anchor tenants at the beginning on the 2015 season and will be owned by the Wakefield & District Community Trust, also providing much needed sporting facilities for the district. (W523A225)

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will have a new home after receiving notification that the Secretary of State has passed planning permission for the Newmarket Development that will include a Community Stadium. The 12,000 capacity stadium at junction 30 of the M62 is expected to be complete in time for the Wildcats to take their place as anchor tenants at the beginning on the 2015 season and will be owned by the Wakefield & District Community Trust, also providing much needed sporting facilities for the district. (W523A225)

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Almost 1,000 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats fans have signed up to a Facebook campaign in the past 48 hours as the club continues its fight for a new community stadium.

Wakefield and District Community Trust has launched the FightforNewmarket page as the club calls for clarity from Wakefield Council over plans to build the 12,000 capacity stadium.

Developer York Court Properties is building a 100-acre business park on land off Newmarket Lane in Stanley, which included constructing a new stadium.

But the club has been left frustrated after discussions to build the stadium have stalled.

Phil Townsend, of Wakefield and District Community Trust, said: “The council are now washing their hands of their responsibilty towards delivering Newmarket.

“I do not need to remind people that Newmarket came about after the collapse of the council’s previous venture to build a stadium with community facilities in Thornes Park.

“Newmarket followed these plans but since the outline permission was granted their support for the scheme has vanished.”

More than 100 people attended a public meeting at the club last week.

Wildcats chairman Michael Carter said the council “promised” a stadium for the people of Wakefield.

At the meeting he said: “We are spending £250,000 per year to stay at Belle Vue and we are wasting money trying to stay there when it could be spent on the playing field.

“The council and developers are the only parties to have benefitted from Newmarket. We’ve been left with nothing.”

Wakefield Council’s deputy leader Coun Denise Jeffery reiterated the council’s stance that building the stadium was a matter between the trust, the developer and the club.

She said: “The bottom line is that the council is not in the business of providing rugby league stadiums. “

Coun Jeffery said the council are willing to meet and discuss the matter with Mr Carter and the club.

Developer York Court was contacted but did not want to comment.

Building work on a new community stadium and business park on Newmarket Lane in Stanley was expected to begin in 2013.

At the time, secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles approved the plans but said certain planning conditions must be met.

This included a legal agreement (a Section 106) which included the construction of the stadium.