'Shame on you': Wakefield Trinity fans heckle councillors after Newmarket decision overturned

February's decision on the site has been reversed.
February's decision on the site has been reversed.

A decision to block plans for a new warehouse on land once set aside for Wakefield's community stadium has been overturned.

Wakefield Council's planning committee voted by 10 to two to approve the warehouse, proposed by the controversial developer Yorkcourt, on Thursday morning.

The decision was made by the council's planning committee on Thursday morning.

The decision was made by the council's planning committee on Thursday morning.

A handful of Wakefield Trinity fans, who are frustrated by Yorkcourt's failure to build the stadium the government approved in 2012, shouted, "Shame on you", at councillors as the decision was made.

The warehouse, which will be used by local beer and wine makers HB Clark, also known as Kitwave, was refused planning permission in February. But the council's legal team said none of the four reasons given would withstand an appeal.

They also claimed that the decision needed to be revisited because the makeup of the planning committee had changed since the local elections, with five councillors having been replaced by the controlling Labour group.

Speaking against the application, Trinity fan Phil Townsend said: "We're here today as a result of the desperate efforts of this council to get the developer what it wants.

Council officers said the reasons that had been given for refusal did not stand up to scrutiny.

Council officers said the reasons that had been given for refusal did not stand up to scrutiny.

"Look at today's unprecedented hearing: seven days notice, four new members of the planning committee, a 75 page lecture on why you cannot turn down this application and a four month delay and why?

"Because this council is scared of this developer."

Mr Townsend, from Wrenthorpe, said that a failure to deliver a community stadium would see Wakefield Trinity reduced to a "part-time club saddled with debt", in reference to a £3m loan the club received from the council to buy their Belle Vue ground in March.

He said that if that happened the local authority would have "blood on its hands".

Papers leaked the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) later revealed that the stadium was bought for nearly twice its market value.

Mr Townsend added: "On technical grounds, this application might tick the boxes. But I believe honesty and integrity trump technicalities.

"Do the right thing. Refuse it."

Yorkcourt did not attend the hearing, but issued a statement alongside comments from Wakefield Council and Wakefield Trinity chairman John Minards within minutes of planning permission being agreed.

The company said that the development would create and safeguard jobs for the area.

Local Democracy Reporting