|STADIUM PROPOSALS UPDATED
(Thursday 21st January 2010)
Wycombe District Council are set to allocate more than £700,000 to facilitate the proposed 'Community Stadium' to be shared by Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps. The budget figures are due to discussed at a Special Cabinet meeting on Thursday 21st January 2010 at the Council offices in High Wycombe. The 'Four Year Major Projects Programme' includes an allocation of £500,000 for a 'Core Strategy Review for the Stadium' and a further £220,000 for 'Stadium Commercial Feasibility' over the four year period.
This follows the news previously reported on COTN in November 2009 that the Council have 'committed to the relocation of Adams Park' and will enter into formal negotiations with Wycombe Sports Development Limited ( company formed in August 2006 by Steve Hayes and business associate Mike Brooks) to agree Heads of Terms for a new Community Stadium for use by Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps. Councillors are due to meet on 8th February 2010 to vote if the project should go ahead.
The push for the new stadium, with a proposed 20,000 capacity, has almost entirely come from the Wasps camp and reports before the end of 2009 seemed to indicate that the Council have been swayed too. Wasps Chairman Mike Rigby told The Guardian that, "The move is now very much on the cards and represents a key part of the jigsaw. We had another very productive meeting with Wycombe council this morning [Wednesday 23rd December 2009] and are close to agreeing terms. We'd hope to be up and running in time for the start of the 2014-15 season." Rigby added, "Adams Park is a lovely setting but it has its limitations. We have always been confident about punching our weight on the field and this project will enable us to deliver relative to our competitors off the field."
However, the planning process will not be straight forward and the 2014/15 target may be over optimistic. A ground swell of objections from local residents and councillors is building who are dismayed with funds being directed towards a new stadium (seemingly unneeded by Wanderers with average attendances of around 5,000), while local 'treasures' such as the Holywell Mead outdoor swimming pool and Museum are seemingly being neglected. Sands Councillor Mr M Rafiq posed such a question at a Council meeting on 14th December 2009 but was rebuked by Council Deputy Leader Tony Green, who stated, "The amount of money earmarked for this is not as much as £500,000 but we do need to make provision. I would have thought that you as a Ward Member would be happy to see Adams Park move as one of the reasons we are looking at this is because of the difficulties experienced by local residents. There is a cost involved but we believe that a community stadium is a good use of resources."
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