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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Cardiff stadium gets green light
Cardiff City were promoted to Division One in May
Cardiff City were promoted to Division One in May
A proposed 100m new stadium for Cardiff City has been given the green light.

The club wants a new home to replace the ageing Ninian Park, which would hold up to 60,000 fans and include a retail park, hotel and health spa.

The application, to grant planning permission to build the new ground opposite Ninian Park, was discussed by Cardiff council's planning committee.

Councillors expressed strong reservations about the retail park but accepted it was essential to fund the development.

They gave unanimous backing to the stadium plans but voted 8-1 in favour of the overall project.

Ninian Park
The Bluebirds' ground, Ninian Park, is an ageing stadium
Last week planning officers recommended that the go-ahead be given, but councillors from the neighbouring Vale of Glamorgan are "deeply concerned" the plans will cause major traffic problems.

The assembly government's environment minister Carwyn Jones now has three weeks to decide whether to intervene.

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

Cardiff County Borough 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 most crucial thing about this stadium is its importance to everyone in Wales," said Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam.

"What it will do to the emotional well-being of every Welsh person can not be estimated, in the terms of billions of pounds this scheme will create if we really do the business."

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

But the head of planning for the Vale of Glamorgan, Rob Thomas, believes development of this kind in the area could cause huge problems.

"There will be a significant impact from traffic movements to and from these developments," he said.

"The accumulative impact is such that it is going to have a major effect on the Vale of Glamorgan highway network."

Planned new stadium for Cardiff City
There are plans for a 100m stadium development

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

The Welsh Rugby Union is among those opposing the plans.

The WRU's chief executive David Moffett has urged Cardiff City not to press ahead with the development.

He wants the club to use the 74,000-seater Millennium Stadium - which would have the double benefit of removing competition for events and maximising use of the existing facilities.

The 74,000-seater stadium has been trying to attract a wider range of major sporting events, including show-jumping and boxing tournaments.




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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