THE long-delayed new Community Stadium for York may not now be ready until October.

Fifteen years after plans were first proposed to create the new stadium, it was hit by fresh delays in February.

Outgoing council leader Cllr Ian Gillies told The Press that he would be “disappointed if it wasn’t ready in the autumn” but he said he “would hope that it would be ready by October”.

City of York Council said it was unable to confirm an opening date and declined to comment on the progress of the scheme.

Developers are currently on the site of the stadium’s leisure complex, where work is being carried out to install seats in the West Stand and the swimming pools are being tiled.

York City Football Club will not be able to start the football season at the new venue and by the end of October they will be about a quarter of the way through their 2019-20 campaign.

York City Knights will also not be able to move in during the current rugby league season as previously planned.

The Press revealed in February that the 8,000-seat stadium and leisure centre had been hit by fresh delays.

The site was due to open in July but the council were not able to say whether the project has been delayed by weeks or by months, or explain the reasons for the hold-up.

The Knights were due to play their last two home games of the current Betfred Championship season – against Bradford Bulls on July 20 and Featherstone Rovers on August 18 - at the Community Stadium, but were told this will not happen.

The delay means the clubs will continue to play at Bootham Crescent until the new stadium is ready.

A planning application to build 80 new homes on the ground was submitted by developers Persimmon at the end of January.

Senior councillors were told at a meeting in September 2018 that construction work was on schedule and due to be completed by May 2019, with the stadium set to open in July.

A spokesman for City of York Council, speaking in February, said: “A significant amount of progress has been made to date, both on and off site, with all stands now visible.

“Work will continue with all partners to minimise any delay and open the York Stadium Leisure Complex as soon as possible, without compromising on quality or safety.”

Plans for the new stadium were given the green light by the council’s planning committee back in March 2015.

The development will also include leisure facilities featuring new swimming pools, a gym, dance studios, outdoor pitches, an indoor climbing area and aerial high ropes course.

There will also be an IMAX cinema, a ten pin bowling alley and a mini indoor golf centre. National restaurant chains TGI Fridays and Zizzi’s are also set to open branches at the complex. And there will be a community hub with health services, a library area, York Against Cancer shop.

Both York City and York City Knights have been unavailable for comment.