An historic Ipswich rugby club is looking for possibilities to start a new chapter at a different location as part of a new 600-home estate may be built at its current grounds.

Two of the Ipswich Rugby Club’s pitches at its current home in Humber Doucy Lane have been taken over by Barratt Developments and Hopkins Homes Development, and are going to be converted into a huge housing estate. 

Ipswich Rugby Club chairman, Mike Hancock, said: “We have five pitches at Ipswich RFC, including two pitches that are not in our ownership. 

“We currently have a need for six full-size grass pitches or equivalence, plus training space for juniors aged 6-12.  Additionally, we need more car parking spaces.” 

Mr Hancock added that the club is actively seeking suitable land to relocate to and is in early negotiations with land agents. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The club has shared a statement on the plansThe club has shared a statement on the plans (Image: Stock image of Ipswich Rugby Club/Newsquest)

He added: “Ipswich RFC would welcome any offers from landowners who could offer a 30-acre site suitable for our needs in, or close to Ipswich, so we can further develop our important links with the Ipswich community, which stretches back to 1870.” 

The chairman of the 153-year-old club also issued a statement informing the public about the outcome of the recent meeting with the housing development representatives. 

Mr Hancock said that the meeting was "positive" and the club is now engaged with the land developers to find a solution to mitigate the potential loss of two pitches to residential development in north east Ipswich. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Mike Hancock, of Ipswich Rugby ClubMike Hancock, of Ipswich Rugby Club (Image: Newsquest)

He added: "Ipswich RFC's firm position is that the club needs to agree a way forward that improves on its existing facilities to include additional playing pitches and training areas, car parking and clubhouse facilities to satisfy existing and future demands made upon the club by its members and the wider community. 

"The meeting was positive in that the developers and land agents wish to agree on a partnership approach so that all parties realise a satisfactory outcome. This includes relocation of Ipswich RFC to a new site on a turnkey, ready to play basis."

Mr Hancock added that the developers’ plans do not envisage any work being carried out on the pitches until 2029.