Harrogate RUFC gets a new home at Rudding Lane

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Harrogate Rugby Club’s long awaited new ground has been given the go ahead after a 15 year struggle.

Plans for seven pitches and a clubhouse at Rudding Lane in Follifoot were unanimously approved by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee.

Harrogate Rugby Club Chair James Smithies said: “This is just the start of it all, there is still a lot to be done.”

Coun Pat Marsh said: “I hope that in five years time we can go to watch games there and that we can give the team somewhere to be proud of.”

The committee raised concerns about traffic, car parking and the club’s future plans.

Mr Smithies told the committee: “We have no ambitions to be a premier league side and expand but we have always offered sport for the town.”

However the plans success rely on the outcome of the club’s old home at Claro Road.

Simon Chadwick, managing director of Signet Planning told the committee: “Without housing on the Claro Road side there will be no Rudding Lane.”

A split planning committee voted to approve officer’s recommendations that the decision on Claro be put forward to the Head of Planning to be approved once conditions relating to highways and education contribution are agreed.

Coun Knight said she could not support the housing plans for Claro Road. She said: “I am one of the unfortunate people who have to travel on Skipton Road every day and I do not know how the roads will cope with the added traffic.”

The Claro Road development will have 23 per cent affordable housing despite Harrogate Borough Council usually requiring 50 per cent.

Mr Chadwick said: “We have to have the affordable housing percentage at 23 per cent in order to be able to afford the club house at the Rudding Lane site.

“It is no ordinary club house, as you can see from the plans it is a very nice club house made of stone.”

Mr Smithies added: “We have been really pleased to be able to work with Crest ltd and the council on these plans and are looking forward to the future.”

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