'Desperately-needed' Weston Rugby Club revamp gets green light from council

PUBLISHED: 12:19 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:13 26 March 2019

An artist's impression of the proposed rugby club development. Picture: BBC

An artist's impression of the proposed rugby club development. Picture: BBC

BBC

Transformational plans which will see tens of millions of pounds invested into Weston-super-Mare Rugby Club’s stadium received a big boost.

An artist's impression of the proposed rugby club development. Picture: BBCAn artist's impression of the proposed rugby club development. Picture: BBC

North Somerset Council’s executive met at Weston Town Hall on March 19 to sign off on an agreement between it and the Seasiders which gives a green light for the project to progress.

The club, in tandem with developers Studio Hive, hopes to revitalise the Recreation Ground, in Sunnyside Road, with more than £25million set to be invested.

Around £3million will be spent on a new clubhouse and upgrades to spectator facilities, and approximately 200 flats will be built surrounding the stadium.

The flats will be spread across five or six blocks, standing between three and five storeys tall.

An artist's impression of the proposed rugby club development. Picture: BBCAn artist's impression of the proposed rugby club development. Picture: BBC

The executive committee signed off on a seven-point agreement between the club and the council, which will see the authority release restrictive covenants on the land to allow for the revamp.

In return, the club will oversee the creation of an access road and car park, which will serve a new primary school being planned by the council.

The council believes the area is the only viable location for a much-needed town centre primary school.

David Pasley, the council’s executive member for asset management, described it as a ‘really good news story’.

He said: “The rugby club’s plan dovetails with our plans for a new primary school to provide school places for families moving to Weston of which there are many.

“It also fits well with our ongoing town centre regeneration programme, which is a real bonus.

“These proposals for the site mean the pitches at Sunnyside Road Recreation Ground are retained for future public use.

“The developer will have to construct a new access road across the club’s land. It will make for safer journeys for children and parents.”

The development still requires planning permission to go ahead, but the council has agreed to grant a 50-year lease on the land.

North Somerset will save around £200,000 over the course of the contract, and the new homes would bring in an extra £240,000 in council tax per year.

Cllr Roz Willis said: “I think the club is in desperate need of having its facilities being enhanced so I’m pleased to see this move forward.”

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