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Community sports clubs in Leeds at loggerheads in row over stadium

Guiseley AFC in play-off action last season against FC Halifax Town

Guiseley AFC in play-off action last season against FC Halifax Town

A battle of the sports clubs has broken out over plans for the expansion of a football ground in Leeds.

Guiseley AFC are seeking permission from Leeds City Council for three new stands at their Nethermoor Park home.

The scheme – which would raise the stadium’s capacity from 3,000 to 4,000 – has drawn criticism from some local residents, who fear it could lead to parking and traffic problems.

And their objections are being vociferously backed by Guiseley Cricket Club, whose ground adjoins that of the football side.

The cricket club’s chairman, Nick Fraser, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We are 100 per cent opposed to these plans. We are also annoyed that the football club did not even have the good manners to contact us and let us know that it was putting in this application.”

A spokesman for Guiseley AFC admitted the relationship between the two sporting neighbours was “not particularly healthy”.

He also said there were some misconceptions in the local community about the scale of the club’s plans, adding: “We’re not looking to build a new Wembley. We simply want a ground that will match the progress we have made on the pitch in the last few years.”

Guiseley AFC’s expansion proposals were originally submitted to the council at the end of last year. A public meeting about the scheme is due to be held next month, with the football club intending to use the feedback it receives to fine-tune its plans before resubmitting them to the council.

Guiseley AFC currently play in the North Division of the Football Conference, two promotions away from a place in the Football League proper. Their directors include Steve Parkin, a millionaire businessman who has previously been linked with takeover deals at Leeds United.

 

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