Homes plan for West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club set to be pulled as Wakefield Council to 'review' sale

Plans to build homes on the site of a sports and social club appear dead in the water, after a deal was struck between its council owners and developers.

By David Spereall
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:16 pm

The future of West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club in Sandal has been uncertain for years, following multiple attempts to build a housing estate on the greenbelt land it sits on.

Persimmon Homes updated a proposal to put 180 homes on the site last year, after planning permission granted in 2017 expired without anything happening.

Now Wakefield Council, which owns the land, has said the proposed sale of the property to Persimmon, which was first agreed in the late 1990s, will be "reviewed", following an outcry from locals staunchly against the development.

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The club now looks set to be saved from the bulldozer, having been faced with having to move if the homes had been built.

The local authority said it would sell another parcel of land elsewhere to Persimmon as part of the deal, though it's not been specified where this is.

Council leader Denise Jeffery said: "I am delighted that we have now reached an agreement that will allow us to review the site and sale contract we have with Persimmon.

"After talking to local people, I understand and respect the strength of feeling for this site and have been working hard over the last 12 months to do the right thing for our residents in this area."

The club itself would have faced the prospect of moving elsewhere if the homes had come to fruition, with Walton a likely destination.

Councillor Jeffery said the views of the community would now shape the club's future.

The venue is run by a group of trustees on a lease from the council.

Wakefield South councillor Nadeem Ahmed had been critical of the authority earlier this month for failing to end the uncertainty around the proposals, claiming there were "human rights cases that have been decided quicker".

Coun Jeffery said that the future of the sports and social club site would now be shaped by the views of the local community.

She added: “As owners of the land, once the sale of the alternative site is completed, we will be able to reconsider its new future, bearing in mind the need for green spaces and sporting facilities.

Wakefield South Conservative councillor Nadeem Ahmed welcomed today's news and said he hoped the council would invest in the club going forward.

"The voices of the club and local residents will be part of this future."

Responding to today's developments, Coun Ahmed welcomed the news and said he hoped the council would make a big investment in the club, similar in size to its new Pontefract leisure centre, [email protected]

He said: "I'm really pleased. Pleased for the local community, for the area and for the club as well.

"The key thing I think was that the traffic down Walton Lane is a problem already, and the council knew that by having these extra houses they'd have to spend millions of pounds dealing with that getting worse.

"Now we need to see investment in the club. We saw how much the council invested in the [email protected] in Pontefract, so hopefully that's the next step."

Local Democracy Reporting Service