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£2m athletics track at University of York campus set for approval
A NEW £2 million athletics track in York could get the go-ahead next week as part of the deal which will see a community stadium built on the edge of the city.
City of York Athletics Club’s current Huntington Stadium home is to be bulldozed to make way for a 6,000-seat arena to house York City FC and York City Knights as part of a scheme which also includes three new neighbouring superstores at Monks Cross.
The athletics club is due to move to a new county-standard track as part of the York Sport Village project at the University of York ’s Heslington East campus, and the proposals for the “flagship” facility as well as a closed road-racing cycle circuit have been recommended for approval when City of York Council ’s planning committee meets next Thursday.
A decision on the plans for the eight-lane track could have been delayed until the start of next year after the Highways Agency issued a holding directive over the scheme, saying roads and transport matters needed to be addressed, but this is now understood to have been lifted.
The track will also have a pavilion and grandstand, although these have not been included in the current planning application. A report by the council’s development management officer, Kevin O’Connell, says permission for the buildings will be sought once the design is agreed. A coach drop-off point would also be built alongside 139 parking spaces.
The council is funding the athletics base, with the university supplying the land as part of the second phase of the Sport Village’s development. The report says the authority’s sport and active leisure team see the track and the one-kilometre open-air cycle circuit as “a welcome addition to the community sports facilities in the city”.
“The new track will have eight lanes, rather than the current six at Huntington Stadium, and will have long-jump pits outside the track which will allow throwing events to take place at the same time as jumps,” it says.
“The cycling track will allow off-road cycling for beginners, disabled participants and competitions. It has the backing of local cycling clubs and bike providers.”
If approved, clubs will be able to book the new facilities, with the public and university staff and students using them at other times. The £9 million Sport Village’s first phase, including a swimming pool, fitness suite, sports pitches and dance, spinning and aerobics studios, opened at the end of August.
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