A full review of the long-overdue Community Stadium project is needed, according to one councillor.
Cllr Paul Doughty is calling for a full investigation into the scheme – warning there may be lessons for the council to learn from the project as it begins work on other huge developments.
The 8,000-seat stadium finally opened in December 2020, eight years after it was due to be completed.
The council may still face further costs for setbacks to the project as claims for delays are still under discussion.
Cllr Doughty said: “It is good it is finally built but it cannot simply be a case of ‘all’s well that ends well’.
“The project has come in many years late and millions of pounds overdue and we presumably have further pain to face on the commercial leisure facilities.
“The council must learn from the experience and I would like to call for a full review of the project.
“The council embarking on a second Community Stadium is presumably nil but it has a vital relevance to how we deal with other infrastructure projects.”
He asked if council leader Keith Aspden would back the review. Cllr Aspden did not respond to the point at the full council meeting.
Eight years late
Work will start soon on the council-backed Castle Gateway scheme, plans to revamp the area in front of York railway station and the York Central scheme – which is run by the York Central Partnership, of which the council is a member.
The council formally committed to building a new community stadium in 2008. It was due to be complete in 2012.
The stadium finally opened three months ago in December 2020.
Days before the stadium opened, the council had to plough a further £1.4 million into a deal over three empty restaurant units at the site.
Despite efforts to rent the units out over the past three years, none had been taken on. This left the council with a funding shortfall under the deal.
An update report on the Community Stadium says extra costs could still come in from claims and damages as well as setbacks caused by the pandemic.
It says: “Adoption and design issues with the site road and drainage could lead to delay and increased cost. Outcome of any claim for time and delay could result in additional cost.
“Covid-19 delays and restrictions may increase costs of facility mothball depending upon the length of time restrictions are in place. This would severely impact revenue budgets for the site.
“Build completion and subsequent handover happened December 2020. This is due to a number of build factors as well as the impact of Covid and the extent of any claims and damages is still to be fully determined.
“Covid-19 restrictions are affecting further progress on site and continue to affect revenue and operation of the site as well as tenant move ins and fit outs.”