Protesters in Sheffield stadium battle

Fighting to save Don Valley Stadium are comminity coach Rob Creasey, (third left), coach Lewis Samuel (second left), with Becky Lyne and Dimitry White.
Fighting to save Don Valley Stadium are comminity coach Rob Creasey, (third left), coach Lewis Samuel (second left), with Becky Lyne and Dimitry White.
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Campaigners who lost the bid to save Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium are taking their fight to central government – just days before it is due to be demolished.

The Friends of Don Valley have penned a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and is seeking a Judicial Review over Sheffield Council’s handling of their Community Asset Transfer application.

Campaigners said the authority deliberately thwarted their efforts to hand ownership of the venue into the community’s hands.

Former athlete Lewis Samuel, one of the protest group leaders, said: “It’s quite clear the wishes and needs of the people of Sheffield have played no part in the decision-making process.

“We are trying to get a Judicial Review, are awaiting a response from the Department for Communities and Local Government and I have sent a document to Mr Cameron outlining how the registration bid process was changed to suit the council’s agenda.”

The group submitted their asset transfer application in September, after which the council had eight weeks to review it and respond.

During that time, the council doubled the number of questions on the registration form and changed the criteria used to score the application three times.

Mr Samuel, a former 400-metre runner who lives in Gleadless, said: “The council’s behaviour throughout the handling of this matter has not only been shambolic, but has also displayed total contempt for the opinions and values held by the people of the city.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The Friends are clearly a committed group, but in the 10 months since the closure was proposed they were unable to submit a proposal setting out how they would run the stadium at no cost to Sheffield council tax payers.”