Concluding that the significant benefits the scheme brings will outweigh any impact it would have on the city of York, the planning committee voted 11 in favour and four against, giving a majority vote for the application to be approved.
The council will now work with the applicants, the sports clubs and commercial partners to work up a detailed planning application for the scheme, which will include the design and layout of the stadium. The council will also continue its procurement process to secure an operator for the stadium and its wider leisure offer across the city.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism for city of York council comments:
This was a huge decision of great significance for York. We can now move forward with delivering a Community Stadium for York which will bring new jobs, an economic boost to the city, a sustainable home for our professional sports clubs and community health and sporting facilities to be proud of.
Kersten England, chief executive of city of York council added:
As a council priority, the delivery of a Community Stadium for York is key to us achieving our economic and health ambitions for the city. The build alone provides a significant return on investment – with every £1 spent of public money it leverages in £4 of private sector investment – and it will help us to attract further investment into the city by enhancing our offer for both business and residents.
The decision to approve the stadium planning application means that work on the detailed planning application for a new county standard athletics track, to be built at the sports village at York University’s Heslington East Campus, can also progress.
The Community Stadium will provide a home for the city’s professional football and rugby league teams. It will enable the football and rugby league teams to continue to deliver and develop the extensive range of community programmes with schools, clubs and community groups across the city.
The development will include:
- A new clinical health facility providing outpatients facilities, which will address access and health inequality issues, for example physiotherapy, pain management, sexual health, weight management and blood taking.
- An Institute for Sport and Well-being with St John’s University, focusing on delivering initiatives to promote sport, activity, health, education and well-being for those living and working in York and the surrounding area.
- An independent living assessment centre for people with disabilities and their carers.
- A new child’s play facility and crèche – Creepy Crawlies.
- Improved links and integration of these facilities with the existing leisure centre and a package of improvements to the existing leisure centre (Courtneys/ Waterworld).
- A new 3G floodlit games court aimed at junior football and rugby, for the local community.
- Wider community use of the onsite conferencing and entertainment facilities.
- A new Gateway Explore Library.