Sports stadium faces delays

Sports stadium development delayed by 'complex' planning issues

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Yorkshire CCC) has expressed concerns after learning that the redevelopment of its stadium will be delayed.

Demolition work on the South Stand at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, which Yorkshire CCC partly shares with Leeds Rhinos rugby league club, was initially due to begin in January 2017.

However, Leeds Rhinos has now revealed that the plans have had to be put back due to the length of time taken to secure the appropriate planning permissions and the supporting funding developments necessary to undertake the project.

Mark Arthur, chief executive of Yorkshire CCC, said: “Not only does this delay impact the club’s ability to stage internationals, it [will] also have profound consequences to both Yorkshire’s and Leeds Rhinos’ valuable and longstanding work within the wider community.

“To continue the vast amount of work within the Leeds area, the club is dependent on retaining international cricket.”

Mark warned that because the major international matches for 2020-2024 will be allocated in summer 2017, the delay could now mean that the stadium will no longer be considered fit for Test match cricket or to host any World Cup cricket matches in 2019.

The delays were caused by planning issues relating to the early release of two sites owned by Leeds Rhinos that have been put forward by Leeds County Council for development in its site allocations process.

The sites underpin the financial support provided to the project by both clubs, other public bodies and the council.

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rhinos, added: “Naturally a project of this magnitude has unique challenges and unfortunately we have not been able to conclude some of those to allow us to begin work on the South Stand.

“We appreciate the support from the council to date, but we recognise the distinction and integrity of the planning process.

“We are desperately disappointed to be making this announcement, but remain hopeful that the scheme will go ahead as planned in the near future.”

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