Bulldozers move in to pull apart sports ground

WORK has begun on a £20 million scheme to redevelop the former Thrum Hall sports ground in Halifax.

But it could be 2004 before the long awaited Asda store opens for business.

The supermarket giant announced in November 2000 it was working with the trustees of the Thrum Hall estate to redevelop the site.

There have since been protracted negotiations with the Halifax Blue Sox, Halifax cricket and bowling clubs which together received about 2 million the deal.

Work started this week on a new bowling pavilion, a 45-space car park and two greens on the site of the rugby club's "scratching shed".

According to an Asda spokesman, work on the supermarket which will create 100 new jobs cannot begin until the bowling facilities are complete.

The structural work will take until the end of the year and the new greens will not be ready until late summer next year.

"We hope to start on the supermarket towards the end of 2003 - it's difficult to be specific because it depends on the state of the bowling greens," he said.

The new 40,000 sq ft store will be about 30 per cent larger than the one it will replace in nearby Battinson Road where it has been since 1967.

The Blue Sox played their final game at Thrum Hall in 1997 when they moved to the Shay Stadium.

Last week, Asda began advertising for firms and individuals interested in building up to 20 houses on part of Thrum Hall, overlooking the new bowling greens.