Two of York’s sports clubs are to get a new home after long-awaited plans for a new stadium were given the go-ahead by councillors at a crunch meeting today.
The 8,000-seat community stadium, backed by councillors, will provide a long-awaited permanent home for both York City Football Club and the York City Knights Rugby League Club.
Following today’s decision by members of York Council’s planning committee Sophie McGill, York City’s, communications and community director said it was hoped that the decision meant that the stadium would be ready for the 2016/2017 season.
“From the football club’s point of view we are absolutely delighted by the news,” she said.
“This has been on going since 2004 and it means that we can now progress and the stadium can be built and hopefully it will be completed for our move into the new facility in 2016 in preparation for the 2016/2017 football season.
“It gives us every opportunity to prosper in the future,” she added.
The planning application, considered by the council today, includes an 8,000-seat community stadium at the site in Monks Cross on the edge of York together with shops, restaurants, a 12-screen cinema, a leisure centre and an outdoor sports area, including three five-a-side football pitches.
Members of the planning committee raised some concerns about parking issues but recommended the plans be approved after referral to Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.
Earlier this week Labour MP for York Central, Hugh Bayley, tabled an Early Day Motion in the Commons to urge York Council’s planning committee and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to approve the community stadium plans.
He said: “This is a very important decision.
“It will have a huge impact for York City FC and York City Knights Rugby League and will change the way York is perceived in the rest of the country. If we want our teams to be successful, more people to attend the games and more young people to take up sport we have to give them the best facilities we can.
“The opportunity to build a modern community stadium does not come round every day.”
The long-held dream of building the stadium has been a council priority for a decade but has been hit by a number of setbacks.
Wrenbridge Sport York Limited and GLL’s application did attract come concerns about traffic congestion on adjacent streets but in a report to the planning committee officers said: “there would be a wider stock of car parking available within the vicinity of the site for visitors.”
The report concluded: “It is considered that the scheme would provide extensive and comprehensive sports, leisure and community facilities that would effectively replace and significantly enhance the provision of such facilities in the city.
“The scheme would also generate additional employment opportunities both during construction and on completion.”
If the Government does not opt to call in the proposals approval will be subject to a number of conditions.