All quiet on Five Towns Park and Castleford Tigers stadium plans

An artist's impression of the planned Five Towns Park
An artist's impression of the planned Five Towns Park

Developers are staying silent on the progress of a £135m scheme which will see the creation of a new community stadium for Castleford Tigers.

An announcement as to whether work has begun on site has yet to be made, six months after Tigers chiefs’ and developers said they were “ever closer to breaking ground”.

The Five Towns Park development, next to junction 32 of the M62, will include a retail park, with M&S, Next and Primark, the 10,000 capacity stadium and a country park and is expected to create 2,000 permanent jobs.

When contacted by The Express this week, Castleford Tigers’ chief executive Steve Gill said: “Everything comes in phases and stages. In the next few weeks, hopefully we can make an announcement about where everything is and what the next stage is.”

Asked about whether the development was moving forward, he added: “We are quite comfortable with where we are at this moment in time.”

The Express also contacted developer Lateral Property Group but received no comments in relation to the planned development, to be delivered by GMI Construction, before going to print. Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box could also not be reached for comment.

In April, The Board of Lateral Castleford Limited published a statement on the Tigers’ website saying “significant progress” had been made towards starting on site and discussions were ongoing with interested retailers.

It said construction could not begin until leasing and funding agreements were “fully in place”.

It read: “Whilst this is not the ‘final’ announcement many of you had hoped for, we sincerely hope it will give you all confidence that we are getting ever closer to breaking ground on the new stadium you so richly deserve.”

Planning permission for the development was granted in 2015.

Last December, Lateral received permission to vary plans on how the retail space would be divided, after agreeing to put measures in place to support Castleford and Pontefract town centres.

In August, a reserved matters application, setting out the finer details of the first phases - highways and ground works - was approved.

And most recently, Lateral submitted a planning application requesting permission to build a car showroom at the site rather than a petrol station and drive-through restaurant initially earmarked. This has yet to be determined.