10,000-seat Wakefield stadium given parliamentary backing

25 July 2017

Parliament has backed the bid for a 10,000-seat stadium for Wakefield Trinity in a much-needed move forward for the development.

The £10m stadium has been hit by problems from the outset. It was initially given planning permission in 2012, but has since stalled.

Most recently developers YorkCourt Properties refused to continue working with the Trust set up to oversee the development in another blow to the struggling development.

This latest approval from parliament may allow the team, which finished fifth in the Super League following a defeat by North West side St Helens on the weekend, to notify the Rugby League of their plans for next season.

They must tell the RFL by next Monday where they are planning on playing in 2018. Their current Belle Vue stadium has been deemed unfit for purpose by the rugby authority. They were forced to move out in March 2017 and commit to a ground share with Featherstone Rovers

The rugby league side are hoping to become the anchor tenants of the scheme in nearby Newmarket, according to the Guardian, after 120 years at their Belle Vue site.

But agreements over the terms of the transactions with the council have caused serious problems. In a statement earlier this year Wakefield Council said they would have preferred a multilateral agreement instead of one that involved the developers Yorkcourt and landowners and the Secretary of State, which was initially agreed, cutting out the council altogether.

Newly-elected chairwoman of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, Judith Cummins of Bradford South, committed to liaising with the council and Trinity to attempt to find a solution.

She said: “The Parliamentary Rugby League Group is aware of the ongoing issues regarding the development of a new stadium for Wakefield Trinity. Given that the scheme secured planning approval in 2012, it is disappointing that it continues to face setbacks.

“On behalf of the Group, I will be writing to Wakefield council and Wakefield Trinity, offering the group’s support in finding a resolution to the current situation. Wakefield Trinity have a proud history in rugby league, and it is vital that plans for the stadium are put back on track, to develop a facility for the whole community.”

It was announced last year that property developers 88m, founded by investor Manni Hussein, had acquired the Belle Vue Stadium in a deal thought to be worth around £600,000.

Original article and image sourced from The Business Desk