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Carlisle United face 'complete rethink' on stadium plans

A report has cast doubt over Carlisle United’s plans for a new stadium.

United chiefs say they may now have to carry out a “complete rethink” of proposals for a 12,000-capacity all-seater stadium at Kingmoor Park to replace their Brunton Park ground.

The club says the report – into the shopping needs of the city – “could have a detrimental effect on the stadium” idea, only days after a claim that retail plans allied to the move could devastate the city centre.

When the football club announced last November that it wanted to leave Brunton Park on Warwick Road for Kingmoor Park on the outskirts of the city, it said the move would be part-funded by “enabling development”.

Nobody has specified what form this would take, although it is widely assumed to be a retail park.

City councillor Elsie Martlew, who represents the city centre Castle ward, is worried that shoppers would be lured by new shops and free parking at Kingmoor Park, triggering store closures in the city centre.

Now the club has revealed the results of a meeting between United, Kingmoor Park Properties and council officers held on Friday over the stadium plan and the “enabling development”.

It said: “Over the last six to nine months the officers have commissioned a report into the retail needs in Carlisle. On Friday they alluded to the results of this report.

“The crux of the report indicates that Carlisle will only have a need for 200,000sq ft of non-food retailing in the next 10 years [Less than half the size of The Lanes]. If this is the case then an enabling development of that size will be insufficient to support the build of a new stadium. If this report is adopted into the local development framework/plan then it will mean a complete rethink of current plans.”

The statement described this as “really disappointing” after more than two years of work and costs.

“Carlisle United Football Club will now need to regroup and meet with the developers before making a further statement,” it added. The report was not shown at the meeting as it has not yet been presented to council members.

Mrs Martlew said this new development backed up her concerns.

“It’s not about whether Carlisle United get a new stadium,” she told the News & Star. “It’s about the affect it has on the city centre – the viability of the city centre.”

She said she wanted people to stop using the phrase “enabling development”, adding: “What does it mean? Who have they got lined up? There’s all this talk of enabling development instead of what they actually mean.”

United have played at Brunton Park for more than 100 years.

The club said at the time it announced the plans that it was acting so that it would be able to meet Football League regulations governing minimum ground standards in a higher division.

Have your say

Could not agree more with other forum users when they say that they prefer to shop out of Carlisle.The attitude of some Carlisle sales staff towards potential customers is truly shocking.Carlisle must be the only place where you offer to spend money,only to find that the sales staff are too busy telling each other about their latest squeeze.

Posted by Unhappy on 26 November 2012 at 19:32

In response to Local Residents comments."People stay away from Carlisle on a Saturday for fear of Football violence".What Violence? Two old farmers with a toothless sheep dog,or six or seven hoodie clad youths throwing chips at each other? I have witnessed more anger at a W.I. bake off than at a Carlisle game!

Posted by Jane Wilson on 16 September 2012 at 10:01

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