A REDEVELOPED Adams Park with a 17,500 capacity is possible at £17m, less than half the cost of a ground at Wycombe Air Park, a scrutiny committee chairman told a meeting last night.

Reporting to Wycombe District Council's Cabinet Councillor Alex Collingwood also underlined the “fundamental” importance of his task force's conclusion about Green Belt.

He said: "As we stand today there are no very special circumstances which overrides greenbelt policy for this proposal.

“To justify a proposal of this nature you have to go back again.”

He said any planning inspector would say "no sorry, you have to try again."

He revealed that if an electric pylon was removed from Adams Park "the existing site can work".

"It is possible to rebuild at Adams Park, it will cost £17million, we have to get rid of the pylon (which would cost £5 million)”.

He said this compared to £44m for the air park in Booker, Great Marlow.

Cllr Roger Colomb questioned this, saying he thought the report from financial experts Grant Thornton had ruled out Adams Park having 17,500 capacity.

But Cllr Collingwood said the group had been told it was possible when they asked face-to-face.

He also said with the number of houses to be built, about 600, along with the sports village complex as a whole: "It's going to be twice the size of Marlow Bottom but half the physical size.

"The impact on the local area and potential problems haven't been addressed.”

He also revealed a primary school for 250 pupils would be required at the site to cater for the 600 new households.

Cabinet members questioned why Cllr Collingwood's Task and Finish Group appeared to have more information than the reports.

The group met face-to-face with the consultants used by WDC such as Grant Thornton and Savills and also Wasps and Wanderers owner Steve Hayes and Wycombe Sports Development Ltd,he said.

He said: “We quizzed Mr Hayes and specifically said: 'please prove to us the case why the clubs needed why is it so essential'.

“All they said was 'we need a bigger stadium to put on extra events'.

"When we go to say 'this is the justification for a new stadium' it will be really weak.”

He told Cabinet members: "It's important to understand that these recommendations are taken as a whole and should be accepted as a whole.

“If they are not accepted as a whole the Cabinet needs to be aware that going forward the commission May well cause a decision in."

WDC Leader Cllr Lesley Clarke said: “ Can I take that as a threat? ... You made it sound like a threat.”

Cllr Collingwood said it was not.

He said: "We think it's possible to continue with the air park but we're not convinced about the practicalities.”

One of the key recommendations of the Improvement and Review Commission, which Cllr Collingwood chairs, was four 'public inquiry' style meetings to give the public its say.

He said the idea was to show "it's not just a rubber-stamping exercise, we get the residents to say exactly what they want, when they want it, and what they are prepared to pay for it.”

Cllr Clarke said it was always the council's intention to talk to the groups affected but this could not be done until the decision on the site had been made.

There was also criticism of WDC's consultation.

“We thought that the consultation was okay but it wasn't deep enough,” Cllr Collingwood said.

He compared it to the "mother's apple pie" scenario, saying if you asked consultees a different question about the stadium, explaining the costs, you may get a different answer.

He also said the split sites option needed looking at further.

Cllr Clive Harriss was the cabinet member with the strongest criticism of the scrutiny committee's recommendations.

He argued the task force's work appeared to be "prejudging" what was going to be "a thorough investigation” which would deliver the “best way forward" and he suggested the group's work was not definitive.

He said although the group had "worked hard" he was "very disappointed".

Cllr Collingwood said: “We are entirely independent, we have done this exercise exhaustively, thoroughly and with due diligence. We have taken on board all the reports.”

He added the group had gone “above and beyond the call of duty”.

Deputy Leader Cllr Tony Green said: "It is a very complex issue at a very early stage we have a lot of work to do.”

More on last night's meeting to come later.