Rugby club hopes for new home

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Spalding Rugby Club could be on the move if planners give the thumbs up to an exciting new project.

The club, which currently plays matches and trains on Spalding Grammar School’s west field, has applied to South Holland District Council planners for a change of use of agricultural land at Drain Bank South, Cowbit.

Council officers have recommended the application be approved when it goes before the planning committee tomorrow night.

If given the go-ahead, the club will change the 13.47ha site into rugby pitches, a car park and temporary changing rooms, kitchen and clubhouse.

Included with the application is a letter from the agent Jeremy Chew saying Spalding Grammar School is restricting the club’s use of the field, leaving them no choice but to find alternative facilities.

He said: “The club has been looking for a suitable relocation site since 2006 to meet current and foreseeable needs.

“There is no opportunity to relocate to existing playing field facilities and extensive searches of other sites have been made.

“This is the only suitable and available site close to the town.

“If we fail to secure planning permission, Spalding and district will lose its mini/junior rugby section from the end of the 2013-14 season.”

Sport England is supporting the application saying it will create additional sports facilities in the area, providing enhanced opportunities to participate in sport.

The Rugby Football Union says Spalding Rugby Club has been identified as a priority for support and potentially investment, due to the restriction of access to pitches at the Grammar School.

Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department initially raised concerns about vehicular access to the site.

However officers are now happy following discussions with the rugby club about implementing a scheme of road improvements including structural repairs and passing places.