Rugby club's £1m ground move boost

LONG-awaited plans for a £1m sports ground last night moved a step closer - paving the way for the completion of a 300-home housing development.Bosses at Sudbury Rugby Club have spoken of their excitement after submitting plans for a new home - putting an end to years of uncertainty and wrangling over a bid to bulldoze their existing ground for housing.

LONG-awaited plans for a £1m sports ground last night moved a step closer - paving the way for the completion of a 300-home housing development.

Bosses at Sudbury Rugby Club have spoken of their excitement after submitting plans for a new home - putting an end to years of uncertainty and wrangling over a bid to bulldoze their existing ground for housing.

And the state-of-the-art plans come just months after the town's football team sealed a deal to sell their former ground to pay for multi-million pound improvements.

Now the rugby club has enjoyed an equally lucrative deal which it hopes will provide a platform for improved community facilities and extend its already-burgeoning youth teams.


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Chairman Andy Mayers told the EADT: “There have been a lot of negotiations but it is now an exciting time for the rugby club. The new ground is in a better location for other sports in the area including football, cricket and hockey. This will ensure it becomes an area for high quality and popular sport.

“We have lots of different ideas and opinions coming in about how to take the club forward and this move will enable us to embrace everyone - something we might not have been able to do in the past.”

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Plans to convert the club's existing ground in Rugby Road, Great Cornard , into more than 300 homes were first given approval in 2003.

But developers Persimmon Homes was only able to build a section of housing - known as the Stour Croft development - until the rugby club moved to new premises on land off Spicer Way.

Plans submitted to Babergh District Council include the erection of a new clubhouse and associated facilities including almost two full-sized pitches and parking.

Mr Mayers said: “This whole matter has been going for a long time as Persimmon Homes wanted our land to develop.

“We didn't have to move and our current ground is in a good condition but the money from the sale will help us develop state-of-the-art facilities including a new clubhouse. Persimmon made us an offer and the club felt it was good enough.

“The club currently caters for about 300 youngsters, boys and girls, and we hope these plans will attract even more to become the nucleus of the senior side in years to come.”

No-one from Persimmon Homes was available for comment last night.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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