Local Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign to protect Conyngham Hall grounds, after Conservative councillors announced it as a potential site for the new leisure centre. They cite the “need to protect green spaces and access to nature” and claim that this option will bring an “increased traffic congestion and pollution”.
Following Harrogate Borough Council’s decision to build a new leisure centre, it now needs to determine where to build it, with Conyngham Hall appearing to be the Conservative-run council's clear preference.
However, residents across Knaresborough have written to Liberal Democrat councillors expressing their opposition to development at Conyngham Hall — a much valued green space.
Liberal Democrats have now launched a campaign to protect Conyngham Hall grounds, citing the “need to protect green spaces and access to nature”. They have also called out the council’s “appalling lack of consultation” with residents and town councillors “on the location of the new leisure centre”.
Commenting, the campaign’s spokesperson — Matt Walker — said:
“The Conservatives are running our district like a Concrete Council, paving over every bit of urban green space they can find. It now appears that they have identified Conyngham Hall as their preferred option to build on. This is completely unacceptable.
“We are standing with residents — a huge swathe of which have already been in touch with us to express their deep concern — and are launching a campaign to oppose this terrible option.
“We ought to be investing in green spaces, not building on them, especially not when there are much better options elsewhere in Knaresborough. Never has this been clearer, when we have all rekindled our appreciation for nature and the outdoors during the lockdown. What’s more, we run the risk of seeing increased traffic congestion and pollution, when we should be doing everything we can to reduce it.”
Councillor Hannah Gostlow, Liberal Democrat Town Councillor, added:
“I’m very disappointed by the appalling lack of consultation on the location of the leisure centre we have seen here in Knaresborough.
“Knaresborough residents, nor Knaresborough Town Council, have been consulted on the location of the new leisure centre. It strikes me as arrogant; Harrogate councillors thinking they know what’s right for Knaresborough better than residents and their town representatives.”
Residents can add their name to the petition here: www.HKLibDems.org.uk/ConynghamHall