Bridgnorth’s new rugby club backed by city council

Floods hit the club in 2021

The proposal for the installation was backed by Bridgnorth City Council – a final decision will be made by Shropshire Council in the New Year.

A previous plan for the club, which included two buildings, was turned down and has since been revised and resubmitted.

Club president Karen Sawbridge said she was delighted the plan had gained support from City Council.

She said: “It will make a huge difference to the whole community of Bridgnorth, not just the rugby club, as many other clubs and organizations have used our facilities during the pandemic.

“We also hope that a state-of-the-art building will attract even more potential users of the facility.”

The proposal will see the existing clubhouse demolished and replaced with a two-story building, with an “empty” ground floor specially designed to protect the club from the floods that have affected it in recent years.

The new facility is designed to protect the pavilion from flooding

The building will overlook the main club grounds and will include a bar, kitchen and several storage rooms, as well as four changing rooms for teams, two changing rooms for officials, a material store, restrooms, a functional room and offices, which will be available to the 10 local groups currently using the facilities.

It will also have a balcony with a view to the terrace for alfresco dining and watching.

A statement from Bridgnorth City Council said: “The decision to support the request, at a meeting open to the public at Castle Hall, Bridgnorth, was unanimous. The decision of Bridgnorth City Council will now be reviewed by the authority Shropshire Planning Center.

“The advisers debated the merits of the nomination in front of a relatively large audience of members of the public.

“The debate focused on competing demands for green belt protection, the flooding issues that regularly occur in the Rugby Club and Severn Park area and improving facilities for club users and the community. community at large. “

He added: “The advisers noted that other agencies, including the Environment Agency, had proposed development conditions to mitigate the risk of flooding, encroachment on the green belt and potential for nuisance. sound for neighbors.

“In general, the advisers agreed that if these conditions were imposed as part of any approval of the application, they would support it. The advisers also agreed that their support should be qualified by accompanying comments.”

A planning statement submitted by RCA Regeneration on behalf of the club described the reasons for the drive to modernize the facilities – saying the need for improvements is “desperate”.

He says: “In its current state, the Bridgnorth Rugby Clubhouse is a tired, substandard facility struggling to meet the needs of the club and its community, with limited space for spectators and sports teams.

“The historic flooding at the site has contributed to the regular destruction and loss of equipment and inventory in the kitchen and functional areas of the clubhouse.

“The recent flooding in 2020 caused damage of over £ 50,000 in repair costs, of which the club were forced to use £ 10,000 from Sport England grant and £ 10,000 grant from Rugby Football Union (RFU) to help repair damage.

“On numerous occasions the changing rooms at Bridgnorth Rowing Club, about 100 yards from the venue, had to be used, with players having to walk to the pitch from the boathouse. The need for a new and improved pavilion and changing room is now desperate. “

The planning statement describes how the new building will be created, if approved by the Shropshire Council.

He specifies: “It is proposed to demolish the existing pavilion, to remove the marquee and also to demolish the canoe store.

“The total existing footprint of these buildings is 498 m².”

“The proposed pavilion would have a new footprint of 630m², which is a modest 26% increase over the existing floor area and would take a more central location, closer to and overlooking the main Bridgnorth Rugby Club pitch.

“The building will have two floors with a shallow pitched roof with a maximum height of seven meters on the east side of the slope and 5.5 meters on the west side of the river.

“The ground floor of the building will be a void, raising the building entirely off the ground, to mitigate the development’s contribution to flooding, protecting both the contents of the clubhouse and improving drainage and runoff throughout. of the site. “

The plans will see existing vehicle access maintained from Bandon Lane, part of which will be redone, while a new 76-space parking lot on a permeable surface will be constructed to the north and west of the proposed clubhouse – on the site of the existing club house.

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