Owners of TV Harrison fields deny any approach from Leeds United

The man in charge of the organisation that owns the famous TV Harrison fields in Wortley says he was "completely unaware" of reported interest in the site by Leeds United.

By Richard Beecham
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 4:43 pm

It follows the YEP's exclusive story last week, in which campaigners claimed the Premier League club were in talks to buy the Oldfield Lane site, currently earmarked for social housing, in order for it to continue as a community football pitch.

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But secretary of the Leeds Schools Sports Association Peter McQuillen Strong said the YEP's contact with him was the first he had heard of such plans, and that no approach had been made to the organisation by Leeds United to buy the site.

TV Harrison Sports Field, Oldfield Lane, Wortley. (Pic: Simon Hulme)

LSSA owns the majority of the site and had previously entered into an agreement with Leeds City Council to allow the authority to build 61 social houses on the former pitch, which has been officially closed since 2004.

In a response sent on Sunday evening, Mr McQuillen Strong said: "We are completely unaware of any interest from Leeds United in buying the field on Oldfield Lane owned by our association.

"Your email is the first news we have had of such interest. As they have made no attempt to contact anyone for our association about this.

"As an association we are intent on ensuring that the best outcome is obtained for the school children of Leeds. We are open to any sale that allows us to ensure the continued excellent provision of sport for children."

Neither Leeds United nor Leeds City Council had commented on the claims from former Leeds West MP Michael Meadowcroft, who told the YEP he understood an offer had been made by the football club to purchase the land, following a long-running campaign to safeguard it as a sports ground.

The field was once home to the Leeds City Boys football team, where football legends including David Batty, Brian Deane and Stuart McCall first made their names. It has been restored by the community in recent years, after being officially closed since 2004. It has been used for informal football matches and fund-raising activities.

Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel approved outline plans to build 61 council houses on the site at a meeting in September 2021.

Following an application from campaigners to the High Court for a judicial review, the council's decision not to designate the site as an “asset of community value” was subsequently ruled unlawful in January 2022.