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£750,000 plan for rugby club

News (3289519)
News (3289519)

Stamford Rugby Club has taken the first step towards fulfilling its dream of building new sports facilities in the town.

Plans to replace the existing clubhouse and pavilions in Hambleton Road were approved by South Kesteven District Council this week.

Neighbours have expressed concerns about the potential for extra noise, traffic and the loss of public access, but the club hopes to allay their fears by creating a residents’ group to discuss the plans as the project moves forward.

Club chairman Ross Thain said: “We are looking forward to taking the provision of sport to another level within Stamford.

“We are determined to see this through to ensure the next generation of rugby players have a facility befitting the quality of the town generally.”

He said the residents group will ensure neighbours’ views are taken into account as far as possible during the project.

The rugby club has 450 members. Its clubhouse was originally built in 1902 and replaced in the 1970s following a fire, but is no longer fit for purpose. It will be knocked down and replaced with a bigger club house incorporating a bar, kitchen, shop, changing rooms, first aid room and storage.

The access from Hambleton Road will be widened and 37 extra parking spaces will be created on the field, along with an extra pitch.

Neighbours are worried the loss of this green space will reduce access for the public who currently use the site for dog walking and running. Keith Spurr told the planning committee: “It will change the ethos of the recreation ground. It will be Stamford Rugby Club, not a public amenity.”

But the planning committee approved the plans as long as steps are taken to reduce the impact of noise and light on neighbouring properties.

Councillor Jacky Smith (Con) said: “Stamford is very lucky to have such a site and we should be giving them every encouragement to make these alterations.”

The club must now negotiate a new lease with SKDC, which owns the land, and raise £750,000 to fund the project.

They hope building work can start within two to three years.

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