Cumbria

Pow Beck Valley stadium plan 'wrong from beginning'

Artists impression of the Pow Beck Valley Community Stadium Image copyright Other
Image caption Plans for Pow Beck Valley Community Stadium collapsed in 2012

A council has been accused of "ploughing on regardless" with failing plans to build a new sports stadium.

Copeland Borough Council conservative group leader David Moore said the £5.5m scheme for Whitehaven's Pow Beck Valley was "wrong from the beginning".

An external report into the project's collapse said the council was not robust enough in planning for risks.

The council said it was "already applying the lessons it has learnt from this project".

The new stadium was to have hosted fixtures in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC).

'Opportunistic decision'

It was planned in partnership with Whitehaven Amateur Football Club and Whitehaven Rugby League Club but no agreement could be reached with Whitehaven Miners' Welfare over access via land it owned.

"If you don't own the access to a development site, you shouldn't be trying to develop it," Mr Moore said.

The external report said the project's management was "informal" and the council's decision to bid for the RLWC was "opportunistic" and may have "forced issues with the project to a head".

It was written in 2013 but has just been made public by the council along with its resulting "lessons learnt" document.

Council chief executive Paul Walker said: "There are always lessons that can be learnt from projects like this, whether or not they are successful."

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