Wakefield Wildcats community stadium D-Day delay

Stadium plans for Newmarket Lane, Stanley
Stadium plans for Newmarket Lane, Stanley

WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats fans will have to wait a bit longer before the fate of its new stadium is decided.

Plans to build a £19m community stadium, which could home the Super League club, along with business units near Stanley are currently being considered by the government.

A planning inspector collected evidence for and against the Newmarket Lane development during a 12-day public inquiry in December.

He has made a recommendation to the secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles, who was due to announce his final decision by Wednesday, May 30.

But a spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government confirmed that a decision would now be made on June 19.

The delay is due to the publication of a National Policy Framework, which came out subsequent to the appeal.

The spokesman said: “We have written back to all interested parties to see if there is anything they want to add.”

Wildcats chief executive James Elston told the inquiry the club could fold if the stadium plans were refused as it would no longer be able to play in the top flight and would lose players and fans.

The club has been told that the current Belle Vue Rapid Solicitors stadium is not up to scratch to meet Super League requirements.

And community trust chairman Sir Rodney Walker said the new site was their “last chance” for a stadium which would also provide facilities for Wakefield Football Club and the city college.

Developer Yorkcourt Properties claim the site, which includes warehouses, business units, community stadium, multi-use games area, restaurant and a 120-bed hotel, could provide 2,000 jobs and an economic boost to the city of at least £130m.

Planning permission was approved by Wakefield Council in December 2010, but was called in by the government as the site is on green belt land, prompting the inquiry.

Neighbouring Leeds City Council and Methley residents opposed the plans due to its scale and loss of open green space.

Mr Pickles has to decide whether the need for a new stadium and extra jobs outweighs the loss of green belt land.