Wakefield Wildcats: Stadium decision a huge blow - Elston

Moving into a new stadium by 2012 have been dealt a major blow which could have serious repercussions for their Super League future.

A planning application for the development of a community stadium at Newmarket, just off the M62 motorway – where the Wildcats are due to be major tenants – has been referred by the Government to the Secretary of State, which at best will cause a lengthy delay.

The Wildcats are one of three clubs – Salford and Castleford are the others – whose bid for a renewal of their Super League licence hinges on their ability to move into a new stadium by 2012.

Wakefield chief executive James Elston said: "With Super League licensing looking closely at facilities, this delay is a huge blow.

"Rugby league has been synonymous with the City of Wakefield for 137 years and this delay could put that in jeopardy.

"We now need to conduct further meetings with the developer, the Community Trust and with other stakeholders to review the contingency plans that were put in place in the event of such a delay in planning."

Wakefield have confirmed that 2011 will be their last season at Belle Vue and it is thought one of their contingency plans for 2012 is to play their home games at Barnsley's Oakwell.

Wakefield Council have given their outline planning consent but the development is also on brown field property owned by Leeds City Council, who have received a number of objections from local residents.

Meanwhile Castleford Tigers say they are delighted by the news that Wakefield MDC has ratified their contribution of 2m towards the club's new stadium project at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

Tigers' chief executive Richard Wright said: "The club welcomes the news as the 2m contribution from Wakefield MDC is a key part of our funding package.

"We are extremely grateful. Despite the difficulties they face with the cutbacks they have shown their support."

Pierre-Michel Lasogga.

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