plans to fund the transformation of Headingley stadium into a world class cricket and rugby venue by selling off green belt land for housing have been met with scepticism from locals.
Detailed proposals for a major overhaul of the venue were unveiled to Leeds City Council planning chiefs yesterday. (Feb 3)
And while there was widespread agreement that a revamp of the 110-year-old stadium is much needed, serious questions were raised by councillors and local residents about how it is going to be done.
The meeting heard that the costs of the project - previously estimated at around £50m - will be met by selling two of Leeds Rugby’s land assets in Weetwood and Tingley. However both sit on the green belt and would require special permissions to be developed.
The City Plans Panel was told that stadium bosses would like to start work on the stadium in September, meaning planning permission for the housing developments would need to be rushed through by the summer,
As reported in the YEP yesterday, the stadium overhaul - which includes demolishing two stands, one of them shared by the cricket club and Leeds Rugby - is considered vital to Headingley’s chances of retaining its international test match venue status.
The meeting was told that the new homes and stadium plans are “intrinsically linked” and each is “critical” to the city’s future sporting ambitions. The panel was asked to consider the “very special circumstances” before making any decisions.
Full planning applications will be submitted and considered later.