WORK ON York's new Community Stadium has been delayed and the stadium will not now be ready until after the start of next year's football season, it has emerged.

Construction on the new Monks Cross ground will not now be finished until during the 2016/17 season, leaving York City Football Club facing a mid-season move.

The stadium complex - which includes a swimming pool, health centre, and library - got planning permission in March and the ground was due to be ready in time for York City to kick off 2016/17 in the new home.

Now City of York Council has confirmed that date will not be met, and said the contracts still need to be finalised before the building can start, even though the deadline for a legal challenge to the plans has passed.

A spokesperson said: "The council can confirm that the Judicial Review period on the community stadium has now come to an end on Friday, July 3. This means that planning permission can no longer be challenged and work is now able to start on finalising all contracts with commercial, community partners and sports clubs.

"We are working hard to finalise all contractual matters, which must be concluded prior to work beginning on site. Once these matters are finalised the development phase can commence and work can begin on the stadium itself."

They added: "In light of the significant progress being made, the stadium will be completed during the 2016/17 football season. This remains a 62-week programme, and we continue to be in discussions with York City Football Club who remain a key partner in working collaboratively through these issues to minimise any impact to the club and its fans."

Both the council and the football club have issued statements saying it is vital to get details right, while the club has moved to reassure fans the delay will have "very little impact", and will not harm the £2 million loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, the club’s relationship with the Football League or its agreement with developers Persimmon over the Bootham Crescent site.

York Press:

A club statement said: "Although some may be slightly frustrated that the club will not be in a position to move into the new stadium for the start of the 2016/17 season, ensuring the future development is built correctly is crucial in providing a fantastic new home for York City for decades to come."

York City bosses are in talks with the new council leaders to help avoid more delays, it adds.

"York City Football Club remain heavily involved at the forefront of the Community Stadium project, and as part of the successful GLL bid will be running the stadium, so are able to maintain a keen focus upon the aspirations of our supporters for the new home of the club."

The statement also tells fans that football clubs can switch stadiums mid-season, and adds: "Although some fans may not view it as ideal, the eventual move to the York Community Stadium will be fundamental in securing York City’s long term future."

"We remain positive that the City of York Council will deliver the Community Stadium project given the prior assurances from all parties regarding their firm commitment to the development of a stadium for York."