AN opposition councillor is to question Wycombe Wanderers fans over controversial plans to build a new stadium.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Steve Guy will conduct a ballot paper opinion poll at Saturday’s game against Carlisle.

Wycombe District Council has caused controversy over its plan to sell land to finance a new stadium for Wanderers and London Wasps.

It has set aside £500,000 to get the plan off the ground with Wycombe Air Park in Booker mooted as the first choice.

Some argue the council – which has had to make service cuts to save cash – should not be aiding a private business. Both clubs are owned by businessman Steve Hayes.

Yet the council says it would get its cash back - and its deputy leader said Cllr Guy should ask Wasps fans too, who would support the plan more.

The questions are: 1. Are you in favour of moving from Adams Park to a new shared community stadium with the Wasps in Booker?

2. Should Wycombe residents help pay for this new community stadium through local taxes/sale of publicly owned assets?

Cllr Guy said: “As part of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the council it is our duty to question, probe and examine the plans being made by the ruling Conservative group and the owners of the club.

“This is a large expensive development that is being undertaken and it can only succeed if all stakeholders are fully behind the plans.

“The most important stakeholder, the supporters of Wycombe Wanderers FC have to be supportive of the plans.”

Yet deputy council leader Tony Green questioned whether the survey was ‘fair and balanced’.

He said: “It is interesting he is only asking the Wycombe Wanderers supporters rather than the London Wasps supporters.

“Perhaps he ought to do a similar survey amongst the Wasps to get a more balanced view – they are both Wycombe clubs.”

More Wasps fans are supportive of the scheme, he said, as ‘no-one is suggesting, on their current gates, that Wycombe Wanderers need a bigger stadium’.

He said: “There is a small, vocal group, mainly of Wycombe Wanderers supporters, who don’t like Steve Hayes and the way he has taken over the club who, quite frankly, will oppose anything Steve Hayes does.”

And he insisted the plan would not increase taxes as it would be funded by ‘cross financing’ – selling council land to finance the stadium.

The Lib Dem ‘shouldn’t be suggesting at this stage’ that the stadium is for Booker, as this is ‘one of the sites being looked at’ he said.

Using Booker would ‘unlock’ the value of land for other development to finance the stadium, said Cllr Green.

This is because development such as housing could only take place under planning laws if a development for ‘community benefit’ was also built – such as a stadium.

Other sporting facilities are also hoped for at the site, including an indoor facility.

Yet Cllr Guy said it was unlikely he would also survey Wasps fans.

He said: “If fans from the two clubs want something completely different then I think perhaps the need for a ground share should come to an end.”

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