Wakefield Wildcats stadium boost

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WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats fans may be a significant step closer to seeing their club secure permission for a new £19m community stadium.

A planning inspector has ruled that land off Newmarket Lane near Stanley can be taken out of greenbelt and put to commercial use.

Plans for the 100-acre business park and stadium off Newmarket Lane near Stanley

Plans for the 100-acre business park and stadium off Newmarket Lane near Stanley

It is the proposed site for a 100-acre business park and new stadium, which could rehome the Super League club from its Belle Vue ground.

The change was published in a new Local Development Framework (LDF), which outlines Wakefield Council’s plan for major building projects for the district.

But Wildcats supporters still have a week to wait before the stadium plans are given the full go-ahead.

Phil Townsend, spokesman for Stadium Wakefield Action Group (SWAG) has welcomed the planning inspectorate’s decision to take Newmarket out of greenbelt.

He said: “Whilst we all still await the final decision on the outline planning application, we now believe that this clears the pathway to the proposals being approved and therefore takes us a significant step closer to our goal of having a stadium for Wakefield”

The secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles called in the stadium plan and ordered a public inquiry into the scale of the planned development which was on greenbelt land after Wakefield Council had approved the planning permission in October 2010.

A two-week public inquiry was held in December into the York Court Properties scheme to build the stadium and business units.

If successful the stadium will be leased to Wakefield and District Community Trust, as part of a wider 100-acre business park.

Developers say it is crucial the scheme goes ahead to create 2,000 jobs and secure the rugby league club’s future.

A council spokesman said: “The government planning inspector who has examined the LDF Sites document has found it sound.

“The document includes removing land from the greenbelt at Newmarket for employment uses. Neither the inspector’s report nor the LDF Sites document affect the decision about the planning application for a mixed use development at Newmarket.

“The decision on the planning application is still awaited from the Secretary of State.”

Mr Pickles is due to make his announcement on or before Tuesday, June 19.