Apologise call after Headingley stadium plans team's '˜shocking' no show

THE team behind controversial £28.5m plans to transform Headingley Stadium were accused of treating residents with 'contempt' after failing to show up a planning meeting.

Opponents of Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s plans to part fund the development by selling off two greenfield sites gathered at Civic Hall yesterday for a meeting of the city plans panel.

But as yesterday afternoon’s meeting started it was announced that the applicant had decided to postpone at short notice following a morning site visit.

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Coun Ashgar Khan, said: “This is shocking. There are people who have come here to see these applications.”

Coun Peter Gruen said: “They should hang their heads in shame that they could treat residents with that kind of contempt.

“They should apologise to the residents. This is not the way we do business in this city.”

The clubs want to sell off Tetley Field, Weetwood, and land off Thorpe Lane, Tingley, to housing developers to help fund the replacement of the existing shared North-South Stand and the existing South Stand to the rugby ground.

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A position statement on the plans along with outline planning applications for the two proposed housing sites were due be discussed. Martyn Thomas, chairman of Weetwood Residents’ Association, which is leading the Save Tetley Field campaign, said after the meeting: “I think it’s an appalling way of approaching a major planning application.”

A spokesman for the clubs said: “The position statement due before city centre plans panel has been postponed to allow further discussion between Leeds City Council and the applicants to continue, in relation to technical matters.”