Leeds & West Yorkshire

£39m Headingley stadium revamp moving closer

The proposed new cricket stand at night Image copyright Leeds Rugby
Image caption The new combined stand would serve both cricket and rugby supporters

The £39m redevelopment of Headingley stadium has moved a step closer after a potential obstacle was removed.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos had proposed to fund the project by selling land for housing development.

The clubs have now dropped two residential housing planning applications after "complex planning matters" delayed the renovation scheme.

Headingley Stadium hosts cricket, rugby league and rugby union.

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A "positive outcome" to the redevelopment application at a council meeting in January could see improvements made in time for the 2019 Cricket World Cup and the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, said a statement from the clubs.

Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos chief executive, said dropping the land sale would mean new funds needed to be found and the clubs and Leeds City Council was exploring "all options".

The redevelopment includes a new south stand on the rugby ground and a new joint stand overlooking both the rugby pitch and cricket ground.

Work was due to start in January with the demolition of the rugby south stand.

Image caption The plan was to sell greenbelt land in Weetwood and Tingley

The plan had been to sell greenbelt land owned by Leeds Rhinos in Weetwood and Tingley in Leeds to housing developers to raise money for the stadium. The two applications were for outline planning for up to 195 houses in total.

The stadium's redevelopment application is now to be considered by a planning meeting on 12 January and the two linked residential planning applications had been withdrawn, said Leeds City Council.

Mark Arthur, Yorkshire County Cricket Club chief executive, said: "It is essential that a solution is found in order to deliver international cricket to Leeds beyond 2019."

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