CONTROVERSIAL plans for a multi-million pound stadium for Workington have been ‘called in’ for the second time.

The move by opposition councillors means that the Labour-led executive will be quizzed three weeks before the people of Allerdale go to the polls on May 2.

Independent Leader Bill Finlay, Conservative Leader Tony Annison and Conservative Deputy Leader Mark Jenkinson have now submitted papers asking council chiefs to look again at the business case.

The opposition councillors have serious reservations about the scale and cost of the project and the financial “risk” involved amid claims council’s sums and projections do not add up.

They have also claimed that the plans are being rushed through ahead of the election and the Rugby League World Cup.

Speaking ahead of the meeting on Thursday (April 11), Coun Annison likened the executive to a middle-aged man going through a mid-life crisis and seeking to buy a Harley Davidson.

But council leader Alan Smith has branded councillors opposed to the stadium the “do nothing brigade”, while describing Labour as the party of “ambition, drive and aspiration.”

Supporters of the stadium have expressed hopes that it will nurture sporting talent and bring jobs and investment to Allerdale.

It would also provide long overdue facilities for two of the county’s major sports clubs – Workington Town and Workington Reds.

Last month, the council agreed to go down the investor-developer route to fund the stadium rather than borrowing £25m as originally proposed.

The council has insisted that this would avoid them having to borrow money to pay for the stadium.

Under the plans, the council would sell a long leasehold and the investor would then work with the developer to build the stadium.

Once the stadium us completed, the investor would then lease it back to the council or operating company over 50 years of £95,210,685.

The tenant – the council or stadium company – would then sub-lease office space and the pharmacy included in the stadium plans to Sellafield and the NHS.

The 8,000-capacity sporting venue was a cornerstone of the borough council’s successful bid to host the event in 2021.

The stadium was also called in by the cross-party Overview and Scrutiny Committee once before, on January 30, at which the committee agreed that the original decisions should stand