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Stadiums plans are re-Balne ?

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Talks have been held about the possibility of using the former Balne Lane playing fields for the city’s new community stadium.

Wakefield Council yesterday confirmed they held talks with Wakefield Trinity over the stadium. But also said the option to redevelop the club’s Belle Vue stadium still remained.

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council said: “We have recently held very productive discussions with Wakefield Trinity on the community stadium and the best options for the club and the city. This has involved continuing to look at the viability of Belle Vue, as well as identifying other sites that might be more suitable, which includes land at Balne Lane.

“No decisions have been made at this point and we are working hard to provide a full update as soon as we can.”

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.

Sports administrator Sir Rodney Walker, of Wakefield Community Stadium Charitable Trust, added: “I’m as optimistic now as I’ve been for some time that something is going to emerge. There have been many twists and turns, but I’m hopeful that by July, council officers will be in a position to make a recommendation to the council.”

The land at Balne Lane had been used by sports teams but has fallen into ruin during the past decade. It was subject to a failed bid for housing after it emerged a covenant was placed on the fields in the 1930s to keep it for community use.

Residents on whose homes face the fields, were unhappy at the latest plans. Nichola Green, who has lived there for three years, said: “It’s very peaceful and lovely here so I would not want it here at all.

“I would put my house on the market.”

Neighbour Marie Lyles said: “I would move in a heartbeat, the value of our homes would plummet.

“It would be sad to lose what’s there, we moved here because it’s quiet.”