ILKLEY Rugby Club will not be going ahead with any sort of extension to their clubhouse until at least 2024.

A fortnight ago, chairman Mike Halling told the Gazette about his proposal to act now by splitting the project into two phases before planning permission expires in May of this year.

These were the three options presented for what could have happened underneath the roof. Leave it open on both sides (Option C), close off the back with the front staying open (Option D), or make the the whole section enclosed (Option E).

After getting the backing of Ilkley MP Robbie Moore and councillor Kyle Green, Mr Halling put forward his plans to the club's committee at a meeting on February 8 and this was their response.

"The proposal put before the committee members was one of a two phase building program, with the intention of putting the existing funds generated to date to use, preserving the planning approval, locking in an element of building cost inflation, and providing a covered outside space until phase two could be completed from the additional cash generated from further two years of trading.

"After a detailed analysis, and very careful consideration of the proposal, the committee have concluded that the inherent construction risks in splitting the program, when set against the current economic uncertainties, were greater than the potential benefits above.

"Although the chairman disagreed with the overall assessment, and preferred to proceed with Option C as he illustrated in the Gazette two weeks ago, as always he will be bound by the democratic decision of the committee in line with his constitutional duty.

"The extension will therefore be deferred until the summer of 2024, at which point (subject to planning permission) it will be completed in accordance with the existing design, in a single phase, from cash funds.

"The committee wish to extend their sincere thanks to the members, sponsors and the Ilkley community for their continued support in helping to improve the rugby facilities for the town."

Mr Halling responded, saying: "I was very disappointed with the committee decision not to go ahead with the project and protect the planning permission which runs out on May 1, especially after doing the bulk of the work on the project over the last six years.

"By splitting the project into two phases, which was in fact the recommendation of the architect who supported the C or D options - the open options, it would have given us an excellent open space which would have been protected from the weather.

"The solar panels would have saved us approximately £1k/annum in electricity costs and contributed to our green credentials.

"It was easily affordable and would have supported jobs in the area at this difficult time."

Meanwhile, Mr Halling joined players from the club on Sunday to help the Ilkley Youth and Community Association put together food for families in need.