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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Road clear for Bluebirds' stadium
Ninian Park
Cardiff City have been at Ninian Park since the early-1900s
The road to Cardiff City's 100m new stadium is clear after the Welsh Assembly Government revealed it will not calling the plans in.

The club wants a new home to replace Ninian Park, with seating for 30,000 fans initially - and potentially for 60,000 later - along with a retail park, hotel and health spa.

The application won council approval last but because of the size of the proposed retail development, it was automatically referred to the assembly government.

On Monday afternoon, Assembly Environment Minister Carwyn Jones told Cardiff County Council that the planning application would not be scrutinised by the assembly.

The decision was welcomed by Cardiff Council leader Russell Goodway, who said he was "thrilled".

Planned new stadium for Cardiff City
Backers say the stadium will boost the capital's economy

"This is great news for the city, the club and the people of Cardiff, who stand to benefit from a premier stadium facility," he said.

"I can't wait to see the development start on site - we look forward to seeing the club's dream become a reality."

Cardiff City Football Club owner Sam Hammam said: "This is great news for Wales, great news for Cardiff and means we can now implement our financial plans."

"The most crucial thing about this stadium is its importance to everyone in Wales."

But not everyone is so enthusiastic.

People living in the Leckwith area of the city are worried about the increase in traffic the new stadium would attract.

And the neighbourng Vale of Glamorgan Council are worried about the impact on traffic in their area - particularly in Dinas Powys and Barry.

Cardiff councillors had also expressed strong reservations about the retail park but accepted it was essential to fund the development.

Cardiff City were promoted to Division One in May
Cardiff City were promoted to Division One in May
There were also concerns from Vale of Glamorgan council about the effect of the plans on its traffic network.

Cardiff City were promoted to Division One in May, raising hopes the side can reach the Premiership.

Cardiff Council believes that a Premier League club, with a stadium to match, would attract visitors to the city and bring a boost to the local economy.

The club will raise funds for the project by selling the valuable surrounding land in Leckwith for a 400,000 sq ft retail development.

An independent report has indicated that having a Premiership club in the city could attract millions of pounds worth of investment and bring hundreds of new jobs.

Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive David Moffett urged Cardiff City not to press ahead with the development, and to use the Millennium Stadium instead.




SEE ALSO:
Tug-of-war over Cardiff stadia
28 May 03  |  Wales
Hammam scores stadium plan win
13 Nov 02  |  Wales
Stadium disabled seats reviewed
19 Feb 03  |  Wales
Cardiff pitch to be relaid
24 Apr 01  |  Wales


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