Andrea has written to those involved in plans to develop Rugby League club Wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue stadium to invite them to a public meeting.
Andrea launched a petition to call for this public meeting back in April, and the petition was supported by 1,181 residents. The meeting was put on hold at the request of the Stadium Trust who were working to develop the latest deal.
Now that the new deal is on the table the Morley and Outwood MP argues that too many times fans have been let down by secret deals brokered behind closed doors and that with time being of the essence, it is time to make sure that stakeholders get on with the job.
In a letter to the stakeholders Andrea notes that the proposal to develop Belle Vue is the “third backroom agreement in principle that Wakefield Council and developers have proposed” noting that “eight years on, none of these deals behind closed doors have materialised into an adequate stadium for Wakefield Trinity.”
She also warns residents that the developers might be “short-changing” the residents of Wakefield by playing delaying tactics to allow the approved planning application on the Newmarket site, which would have seen a new community stadium built, to expire in December this year. This was the original plan back in 2009, where developers proposed paying for the community stadium in exchange for building on Green Belt land.
Andrea will be organising the event which she proposes is held at a date convenient to all parties in November at Wakefield’s Unity Works. The MP would chair the event along with a Wakefield Trinity fan, taking questions from the public. Invites have gone to developers Yorkcourt and 88m Group, Councillor Peter Box as leader of Wakefield Council and the Stadium Trust, and it will be open for the public to attend.
Commenting on the call Andrea said: “I am appalled at the fact that despite having an agreement in principle from a developer since 2009, and a second one at the eleventh hour through Wakefield Council following public and political pressure last April, no stadium has been built for Wakefield residents and fans of Wakefield Trinity.
I am tired of deal after deal being developed in the Council’s backrooms, bringing the hopes of fans up, only to crash them as the deals fall through.
Enough is enough. While I am pleased to hear about the latest proposals, it is time that developers and the Council actually speak to residents about what is really going on, and stop side-lining and playing around with the community who for too long have been at the mercy of political and business players in Wakefield. If they are serious about the proposed solution, they should be able to face the public to offer guarantees and detail, and finally stop hiding behind press releases or Council chambers where the public cannot speak.”
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