Firstly I would like to congratulate Castleford Tigers on reaching Wembley and giving the whole of Castleford and its community a big boost.
Also, a special mention to the achievements of the Castleford Academy teams in the National Schools finals, including the Y7 Wembley winners.
Secondly I would like to respond to Mr Lee’s comments in the Express: he speaks of the Castleford Tigers Supporters Club letter of support for the development, which he claims will benefit 8,000 only out of a community of 39,000.
As demonstrated in the run up to Wembley a successful Tigers team has benefitted the whole community, giving a boost to local businesses and bringing a feel-good factor to the town.
The development of a new shopping experience will keep people shopping in the area and prevent the need for out of town shopping in developments like Trinity Walk and Meadowhall. It will hardly take trade from Pontefract and Castleford town centres, offering as it will, a totally different retail experience.
I wonder whether Mr Lee has in fact consulted with young people in the area as I have. Those I have spoken to are greatly supportive of the scheme.
Mr Lee goes on to comment about the litter, graffiti and “rival fan battles” which residents will be subject to with the development of the Tigers’ stadium. This is a highly inflammatory and derogatory statement which demonises rugby league fans.
I have watched Castleford for over 40 years and have NEVER witnessed a pitched battle in the streets around Wheldon Road. Neither have I seen any examples of graffiti nor exceptional litter. Rugby League is a family game famed for its good natured banter between fans, not anti-social behaviour.
I live in Stainburn Avenue, facing the proposed development. I welcome the opening of the Country Park and access to the walks and wildlife in the woods, fields and hedgerows: something denied to the local community for the last 30 or so years.
It would appear from his letter that Mr Lee seeks compensation: could this then reveal his true reason for objection.
I for one, along with some of my neighbours and the people of Castleford and the wider district welcome the 5 Towns Development. Planning comments on the WMDC website evidence that there is a 1:10 ratio in favour of the development, and that those who form the objectors are concentrated from a very small area.
Everyone has the right to object or support but consideration should be given to wider economic and social implications and not just to altruistic reasons.