Club Development Update
Plans Passed by Members
At the EMG held on Thursday 5th January in the main clubhouse room members voted unanimously, with an overwhelming show of hands in favour, to proceed with the plans to re-develop the rugby ground.
About one hundred members attended and listened to the case put forward by the county council. The money used for this will be from a ‘town fund’ created and promised by Boris Johnson during his time as PM. The club was granted a lion share out of three successful bids.
Negotiations has taken place in recent years bringing all parties to a point where the club was ready to put the plans to club members, albeit that this was necessary given the time scale for adopting plans err the time limit was passed.
County Council general plans are on view in the clubhouse. The re-development will mean the demolition of the current clubhouse, changing rooms and stand. A new clubhouse of two storeys is proposed where the stand is sited. In general terms the lower floor will be changing rooms, ground equipment and rugby equipment storage. The upper floor will include a bar, meeting rooms and a balcony for spectating.
A new full-size pitch is to be sited at right angles to the main pitch, located behind the new clubhouse facility.
A car park of hard standing for about one hundred and twenty vehicles will be located to the side of the new building. This will afford club revenue out of season. In dry weather the pitch(es) could also be used for parking to generating income.
This plan will mean that the current second pitch and its surrounds the remainder of the grounds will be for providing housing which will not be purchasable as second homes.
The triangular shaped area between the second pitch and the proposed housing is protected as it is within the AONB boundary.
The club faced the prospect of having to renew their leasehold within fifteen years. The plans voted for now gives a ninety-nine year lease. It will ensure that rugby continues for generations to come.
Detailed plans will submitted by the County Council in consultation with the club committee during 2023. No date for the completion is known, but any major departure from these general plans is very unlikely.