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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 07:00 GMT
Work on stadium 'to start in May'
Artist's impression of Cardiff City's new stadium
The finished stadium is expected to hold up to 30,000 fans
Work on Cardiff City's new football stadium could begin in May after plans for its retail development were approved by Cardiff Council.

Three planning applications were granted permission on Wednesday following the approval of two others in December.

The planned shops have been criticised by some retailers, who fear they could affect city centre trade.

Club chief executive David Temme said building should begin in May.

The three applications granted on Wednesday mean branches of Matalan and Costco can open on the site in the Leckwith area of the city, along with one other unnamed retailer.

With further hard work and a fair wind we should start construction in May
David Temme
But the club and retail developer must now submit a final business plan for Cardiff Council to consider before any construction can start.

Mr Temme said the building of the stadium relied heavily on funding from the shop scheme and would not have gone ahead without it.

"For our part we still have a great deal to do," he said.

"We need to get Council approval of our business plan which, for the record, was first submitted to the Council almost two and a half years ago.

"We must also finalise the contractors and the designs but with further hard work and a fair wind we should start construction in May of this year with completion of our stadium about 18 months later."

Artist's impression of Cardiff City's new stadium
There are hopes of accommodating up to 60,000 fans in the future
The 100m development includes a stadium which would seat about 30,000 fans.

It will replace the Bluebirds' current home at Ninian Park and could be extended to accommodate 60,000 spectators.

Cardiff planning committee chair, Gill Bird, denied the planning process had been delayed at any stage, but said she was "delighted" a decision had been reached.

However, David Hughes-Lewis, chair of the Cardiff Retail Partnership, has previously said the scheme would "jeopardise the city centre".

He said the new St David's Two shopping centre was going to double the retail area in Cardiff and more developments were not needed.


SEE ALSO:
Stadium retail plans held up
15 Dec 04 |  Wales
Lib Dems back city stadium plan
24 Jun 04 |  South West Wales
Cardiff's stadium takes next step
22 Apr 04 |  South East Wales


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