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Wildcats' stadium hopes dented

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ planning application for a new stadium on the Newmarket site has been referred to the local government secretary Eric Pickles.

The Super League club had been hoping to move into the new ground by 2012, but the government’s decision is likely to result in a lengthy delay, whatever the outcome of Pickles’ verdict.

This is a particularly heavy blow for the Wildcats as hopes to renew its Engage Super League licence hinge upon the move.

Meanwhile, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats has confirmed that 2011 will be the club’s final year at current stadium Belle Vue.

Although Wakefield Council has given planning consent to the Newmarket proposals, the development also covers brownfield property owned by Leeds City Council, which has received objections from local people.

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

“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.”

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