Railway’s future still in balance

THE future of one of Harrogate’s oldest football clubs still hangs in the balance, after a decision on whether a £5.5m care home can be built on its land was deferred.

Starbeck-based Harrogate Railway Athletic has announced ambitious proposals to sell an area of its Station View complex to help finance vital stadium improvements.

Under the plans, a 66-bed care home would be built by Vida Healthcare on land currently occupied by the Dagger sports club.

A new two-storey clubhouse would also be erected and a large field would be divided to provide a training pitch, mini playing area and four five-a-side pitches.

The proposals were originally recommended for refusal by council officers ahead of a planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

They echoed the concerns of Sport England, who objected to a reduction in recreation land, and said a detailed transport assessment had not been provided.

But at the meeting officers urged councillors to defer a decision, after Sport England withdrew its opposition, additional transport papers were submitted and an error on Railway’s application form about opening hours was amended.

The application will now be considered by the planning panel on Tuesday, February 15.