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Skipton LMS Football Club officials 'stunned' after ground is put on market
7:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
Skipton LMS football ground – home to one of the oldest football clubs in Craven – is on the market for £30,000 following a decision to sell by its owners, the LMS Social Club, based in Broughton Road.
The sale of the 2.6 acre site next to Sandylands Sports Centre, Skipton Tennis Club and cricket ground, also includes the Go-Kart track.
Football club officials, who have been left stunned by the news, have branded it “unbelievably heartless and callous”.
When the Craven Herald approached LMS Social Club to talk about the sale and the reason behind it, an official refused to comment, He said it was being handled by the agent and “there was no reason to speak to the press”.
Members of the football club, which has eight junior squads and two senior teams, the first team winning the Craven Mastab’s League three times in succession, said they were dismayed by the decision.
The sale could leave almost 200 people, including well over 100 children, facing the loss of playing sport, said a spokesman.
He added: “It appears that the financial situation of the LMS Social Club has brought things to this end but there have been no meetings between the social club committee and football club committees to find a solution.
“The football club remains willing to listen to alternative solutions including leasing the ground, at reasonable rates, providing the playing area is presented in a manner comparable with other facilities in the area.
“Our commitment to developing young sports people and integrating them at senior level is second to none. We find this situation unbelievably heartless and callous and will work with anyone to find a solution.”
The club was appealing to anyone who could step forward to “halt these totally avoidable actions”.
Michael Westlake, of Westlake and Co, who is leading the sale, said it was rare for a football field to come onto the market and stressed that the land would have to remain exclusively for sport.
“And in regard to this land, I believe that’s rightly so because it has been at the heart of football in Skipton for many years,” said Mr Westlake.
“Sports grounds are a bit like the green belt, sacrosanct. I just don’t know what to expect because this is the first time we’ve sold anything like this.”
There was a chance that it could be used other than as a football pitch, as a gymnasium or outdoor sports recreation, but it would have have to be sport related and get approval for a change of use, he added.
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