Multi-million-pound stadium revamp plan earns council backing
PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 January 2019
Multi-million-pound plans to redevelop Weston Rugby Club ‘fit well with ambitions to regenerate’ the town centre, according to North Somerset Council.
The rugby club hopes to revitalise the Recreation Ground in Sunnyside Road, with almost £30million to be invested into the project.
A new clubhouse and upgrades to changing and spectator facilities costing £3milllion have been promised, and around 160 homes are set to be built surrounding the new-look stadium.
An overwhelming majority of members backed the proposals at a meeting on January 17, and a planning application will be submitted in July.
The club has been working on the proposals with the council, which is orchestrating the town centre regeneration programme. The authority intends to harvest several town centre sites for housing with hopes of revitalising the area.
A spokesman told the Mercury the plans are in line with the council’s ‘ambitions’ for central Weston.
They said: “We have worked with Weston RFC on the proposals.
“The council has a covenant on the land owned by the rugby club which means any proposals to use part of the site for different uses require our involvement.
“The club’s proposals fit well with the council’s ambitions for Weston as a town which combines the best in living, learning and lifestyle and the ongoing town centre regeneration programme.”
As part of the project, the council hopes to bolster Weston’s education capacity – with hundreds of homes due to be built nearby at the Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks which will see the town’s population grow.
The spokesman added: “We are also keen to develop premises for a new primary school in the town centre to provide more school places for families moving to town.
“The Sunnyside Road site works well as a school site and in order to provide safe access to the proposed school land owned by the rugby club would be needed.
“Similarly, land owned by the council would be required for the other development proposed for the site to be viable.
“A joint letter of intent is currently being prepared by the rugby club and the council which will set out the proposed way forward and also the agreed conditions for progress.”