York Community Stadium plan to go to judicial review – further delays likely

An artist's impression of the planned stadium and complex, including the cinema. Photograph: City of York Council
20 Oct 2016 @ 8.54 pm
| News, Sport

There are likely to be further delays to the massively overdue York Community Stadium after the plans were called in for judicial review.

City of York Council confirmed on Thursday evening that a legal challenge was going ahead.

Cinema chain Vue challenged the plans for a larger multiplex at the Monks Cross stadium complex than was originally approved by York planners.

Solicitors for Vue, which has a cinema at Clifton Moor, and Reel, which operates the old Odeon on Blossom Street, argued that a new planning application was required.

Now it seems a judge has agreed that they have grounds for a legal challenge.

A City of York Council spokeswoman said:

It has been confirmed that a judge has concluded that the Community Stadium Judicial Review request can go forward for a full Judicial Review hearing.

The council expects this to be considered early in the New Year. The council is not currently in a position to provide further details.

“However, we have made clear we are fully committed to delivering the Community Stadium and Leisure Facility project, which will provide a wide-range of facilities, and we are continuing to work with our longstanding partners to build the best leisure, sport and health offer for the city.

This is the latest blow for a stadium which is now beginning to look cursed. Under the original timetable it should have opened at the start of this season, and both York City FC and York City Knights would be playing there now.

However, with the Huntington Stadium and Waterworld both long having been demolished, there is no sign of work starting on the complex. The last official statement said it would be due to open by summer next year, but this latest news can only make that date less likely.

What is a judicial review?

Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

In other words, judicial reviews are a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the conclusion reached.

It is not really concerned with the conclusions of that process and whether those were ‘right’, as long as the right procedures have been followed. The court will not substitute what it thinks is the ‘correct’ decision.

This may mean that the public body will be able to make the same decision again, so long as it does so in a lawful way.

– Source: City of York Council