Trinity and council clash over stadium

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A row has erupted between Wakefield Council and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats over who is responsible for the failure to build a new community stadium.

More than 100 people attended a public meeting at the club on Wednesday to discuss why the Wildcats’ move to a new facility on land off Newmarket Lane in Stanley has stalled.

Wakefield and District Community Trust claimed​ the council had not delivered on​ a ‘promise’ to pay £2m to fund the new stadium.

But the council​, which did not have a representative at the meeting,​ vehemently denied the claim and said the £2m provision was not part of the planning agreement, which was between the Wildcats and developer York Court Properties.

York Court is building a 100-acre business park on Newmarket Lane.

Jonathan Stone, of the Wakefield and District Community Trust, said: “A massive injustice has been done.”

Wildcats fans submitted a 15,000-strong petition in support of the development in 2012 after the government ruled a stadium could be built as part of the plans.

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​) linked to construction of the stadium and traffic.

​York Court was expected to lease the 12,000-capacity community stadium to the trust, with Wildcats as the anchor tenant.

Wildcats’ chairman Michael Carter said: “The council promised a fit for purpose community stadium and it has not been delivered.”

Wakefield Council’s Andy Wallhead said: “Regarding the reference to £2m, both Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers were offered this support in 2009–2010 subject to conditions. But these conditions were never met and this offer was subsequently withdrawn.”