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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 13:31 GMT
Stradey inquiry backs rugby club
Stradey Park
The Scarlets plan to leave Stradey Park for a new stadium
A public inquiry into plans to build up to 450 homes at Llanelli's Stradey Park has ruled in favour of the rugby club.

Nearby resident Alun Davies had applied to have two training pitches bordering the ground designated a village green to prevent them being built on.

But barrister Anthony Porten QC, who conducted the inquiry, has recommended the application is rejected.

If Carmarthenshire council backs his conclusions on Wednesday, the club will be free to develop the land.

The Scarlets plan to sell off Stradey for housing to finance a new stadium at Pemberton.

Last month's public inquiry was the second this year into the controversial plans.

Mr Porten has ruled that although residents living close to Stradey did use the training pitches for recreation their primary use was for training by Scarlets players.

He states: "Whilst it may be the case that, in a sense, there was 'joint use' the residents did not purport to exercise equal rights, let alone superior rights.

Mr Porten said if the site were to qualify as a village green, the effect would be that the club could only use the land in ways that do not interfere with the recreational rights of the residents.

"Whereas here throughout the qualification period the position has been precisely the converse."

His 68-page report will go before a full meeting of the council on Wednesday.

The earlier planning inquiry had already backed the club's application to develop up to 450 homes on the site and planning permission was subsequently granted by the Welsh assembly government.

Mr Davies had claimed the pitches had been used for a variety of community uses over the years including dog walking, sports and years ago, a roadshow by Noel Edmonds' children TV programme Swap Shop.

But the club said it had always been used as a training ground and accused the residents of delaying tactics.

The Scarlets first unveiled plans to move to a new 13,500 capacity stadium at Pemberton in 2004.

SEE ALSO
Scarlets stadium plans face delay
21 Aug 07 |  Llanelli Scarlets
Residents to watch Stradey plans
30 Jun 07 |  South West Wales
Go-ahead for Stradey homes plans
28 Jun 07 |  South West Wales
WRU 'wouldn't bail out Scarlets'
12 Jan 07 |  South West Wales
Boost for Stradey Park homes plan
09 Jan 07 |  South West Wales

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