Wakefield’s long hard battle for planning application on their new ground and business park at Newmarket has finally seen progress.
The Wildcats’ proposed site has come with a lot of red tape in that the community stadium, along with retail and warehousing facilities, is to be built on an old colliery.
What’s more councillors from Rothwell ward, led by Steve Smith, said how the proposals would see green belt land lost, sparking fears that it could set an unwelcome precedent for other developers.
Smith said to the Guardian, “This is an ill thought out scheme that is entirely unsuitable for the local area. Once again, these plans fail to address our concerns about the impact of the proposed development on the local infrastructure.”
The plans also faced stiff opposition from local rivals Castleford Tigers and in particular, current chief executive Richard Wright, who contributed to the case against their application for the new stadium.
But these issues seem to have been rectified, and the Local Development Framework proposed by Wakefield MDC has received approval from the Government office.
In a statement from the Stadium Wakefield Action Group, they said, “The effect of this announcement is that the Industrial Development area of the Newmarket site is no longer to be designated as ‘Green Belt’ land and is therefore available for the commercial purposes which will provide a significant element of the funding for the Community Stadium and Sports Facility proposed for the site.”
The Wildcats currently play at Belle Vue, which has stood for more than 100 years. With this positive news, it is more than likely that their Super League status will be preserved.
SWAG’s statement further reads, “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 announcement from the Secretary of States office on the outcome of the Public Inquiry for the proposed site is due on or before 19th June.