Project Blue Yonder issues discussed
Late last week [Friday 7 September] Carlisle United Football Club and the developers met with three of the council officers with reference to the potential new stadium and its enabling development.
This process of meetings and communication has been going on since June 2010 - a period of just over two years.
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.
It needs to be understood that they did not show the report at the meeting as it has not yet been presented to council members.
The crux of the report indicates that Carlisle will only have a need for 200,000 square feet of non-food retailing in the next ten years. 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.
This is really disappointing, after what amounts to over two years of work and costs, and Carlisle United Football Club will now need to regroup and meet with the developers before making a further statement.
Despite political support from the new Labour leader and the previous Conservative administration it appears the officers and their consultants report could have a detrimental affect on the stadium plans.
There were no politicians at the meeting and it is understood that the report was compiled by a Manchester-based company - GVA.