CAMPAIGNERS and developers now face a nervy wait to find out if the decision to throw out controversial plans to build on the site of the iconic Coventry Speedway is overturned.
The closing statements in the appeal inquiry were read on Tuesday (November 28) with a decision on the decade-long saga expected to come at some stage early in the New Year.
Brandon Estates first presented their proposals to build homes on the site of the stadium in 2014, with the speedway closing in 2016.
The plans for Brandon Stadium were unanimously refused by Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee last November.
The thrown-out plans for 124 homes, reduced from 137, included access to the site from Rugby Road, with 20 per cent of the houses built being affordable.
Proposals also included open space, infrastructure, a 3G football pitch, a pavilion and a car park.
Rugby council’s reason for refusal stated the development would result in the loss of a sporting facility with both local and national significance.
It added although an alternative sporting provision, the 3G pitch, was proposed, there was not a ‘clearly identified need’ for it.
The authority considered the proposed benefits of the new facility to not clearly outweigh the loss of the stadium.
Brandon Estates’ appeal claims evidence provided demonstrated a demand for additional 3G pitches.
It further claims data collected relating to Coventry City and Rugby Borough Council’s playing field assessments showed the number of existing pitches in both authorities areas was insufficient against demand generated by existing local clubs and their teams.
Other appeal points included claims of declining attendance at speedway events, both at Coventry Stadium and nationwide, as well as the number of active teams, and events held across each site.
It also argues the capital costs of reinstating the stadium, alongside the operational costs, meant it would be ‘completely unviable’ and was ‘clearly outweighed’ by the benefit offered by creating the proposed sports pitch.
The Save Coventry Speedway and Stox campaign group has been fighting to reopen the stadium since it closed in 2016.
A spokesperson for the group said: “We want to say thank you to everyone who has assisted along the way.
“The support of the local community and the speedway and stock car family worldwide has inspired us throughout and has ensured we maintained the motivation never to give up.
“We know thousands of people will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Inquiry, and as has so often been the case, it’s now a waiting game.”