Letter: Football ground - Time is right for club to move

Harrogate Town's stadium.   Picture Tony Johnson.
Harrogate Town's stadium. Picture Tony Johnson.

Your correspondent Mr Williams is right (Advertiser September 28) when he states that Harrogate Town football ground is now in the wrong place.

Having attended the recent consultation event on improvements the Club wishes to make to its current facilities and taking into account the splendid start to the season they are having on the pitch, I agree wholeheartedly that this go ahead Club deserves the chance to improve and expand, but as a resident who lives nearby, I cannot see how this can be done in its current situation.

The time is right for those who can do something positive to allow the Club to have a great future to act.

I understand that Harrogate Borough Council owns the ground at Wetherby Road and it also owns land off Leeds Road between Almsford Bank and Spacey Houses.

Why can’t the council propose re-locating the football club to land it owns there? Currently the land is being allocated for light industrial use in the draft local plan. Pannal residents naturally are opposed to this and want the land to remain open.

A football club with pitches and training pitches – similar to what the rugby club now have at nearby Rudding, would surely be a better option?

The rail halt at nearby Pannal could also be used for transporting fans from the town to matches.

The existing ground at Wetherby Road could then be used for some car parking for hospital staff – that would relieve the areas around Wetherby and Knaresborough Roads where many residents have problems with hospital staff parking.

Part of the existing football ground could also be allocated for housing, including much needed affordable housing. The site is convenient for schools, local services and good bus services. As the Local Plan is being prepared, would it not be worth considering these options before a decision is made on the plans being prepared by the football club?

Chris Aldred

Wayside Grove,