Wakefield Community Stadium
Wakefield Council has responded to a statement issued by the owners of Wakefield Trinity today (7 November).
The Deputy Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Denise Jeffery, said: “We are saddened and extremely disappointed that the owners of Wakefield Trinity have resorted to the threat of legal action.
“Whilst we would very much welcome the opportunity to address, in court, the serious and completely untrue allegations that have been levelled at us, our priority is to try and get a community stadium delivered for the people of this district.
“Yet again, we are dismayed by the wholly inaccurate comments made by the club owners about the Newmarket development, especially the claim that there is a ‘legally binding obligation for the Council to provide a 99 year lease at a peppercorn yearly rental to the Wakefield and District Community Trust’ as there is no reference, at all, in the Unilateral Undertaking to this.
“Although it is it frustrating that the club continue to publish inaccurate statements, it is the fact that it misleads fans and residents that concerns us the most.”
“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.”
A full chronology of all the activity relating to the Newmarket development is available on Wakefield Council’s website, along with the documents about the Unilateral Undertaking which was signed by the developer, Yorkcourt Properties Ltd, and Eric Pickles, who was the Secretary of State at the time.
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.
Wakefield Council cannot comment on specific details of the contracts that are in place between Castleford Tigers and the company that is building the stadium as part of the Five Towns development.