Council responds to Wakefield Trinity stadium statement

An artist's impression of the redeveloped Belle Vue
An artist's impression of the redeveloped Belle Vue

Wakefield Council has responded to a statement by Rugby League club Wakefield Trinity which said legal action was planned in a dispute over a new stadium.

The council refuted claims made by the club over plans to redevelop Belle Vue, Trinity’s current home.

Wakefield Council previously said the club walked away from the latest deal in a disagreement over rent and income from the new stadium.

Trinity first said they were taking legal advice, then issued a statement earlier today which said action was planned in the High Court.

In response the council said it was disappointed at the threat of legal action.

Deputy council leader Denise Jeffery said: “Legal action will be a very costly and lengthy course of action for all parties involved and ultimately the people who will lose the most is the fans and residents, and that is the most upsetting part of this situation.”

The Belle Vue redevelopment was announced after plans for a community stadium at Newmarket Lane near Stanley failed to get off the ground.

Developer Yorkcourt would have built the Newmarket Lane stadium but the project stalled after complications with a planning agreement.

Wakefield Council’s statement said: “Wakefield Council has reiterated on numerous occasions to the club that the council is powerless to compel the developer to build the stadium unless the triggers laid out in the Unilateral Undertaking are met.

“These are triggers that were imposed on Wakefield Council by the Secretary of State, triggers that the council did not and would not have agreed to.

“On the 20 September Wakefield Trinity agreed in principle with the proposal put forward to develop a new stadium at Belle Vue. The owners of the club then walked away from what would have secured the future of Wakefield Trinity in this city.”

Trinity need a new ground to meet stadium requirements to remain in the Super League.