The Lindum Rugby Club published in the Summer 2009 edition of the Nettleham News an article regarding outline proposals to build new facilities for their club on Lodge Lane. A public meeting was held shortly before the schools broke up for the summer holiday a couple of weeks ago at Nettleham Village Hall. Thirty-five local residents turned out for the meeting.
A representative of the Lindum Rugby Club addressed the meeting with enthusiasm. Lindum Rugby Club was founded 100 years ago and turn out four teams on a regular basis the club caters for a full age range of participants. In recent years interest in rugby has been increasing, thanks in part to the recent Lion’s tour to South Africa. It was reported that there has also been significant growth in women’s and girl’s rugby, which the club are unable to support with their current facilities.
The club believe that they need to move because of a lack of space. Currently the club shares nine acres of land, at the bottom of Wragby Road and St. Giles Avenue, with Lincoln Cricket Club. At the site there are two Rugby Pitches with the second team pitch doubling as a training pitch. The current site layout and the position of a cricket square means the youth elements have no proper pitches marked out. Further challenges include: changing facilities that are totally inadequate for the numbers playing rugby, lack of sufficient car parking – that is likely to become residents parking only in the future.
Nettleham had been chosen despite and exhaustive search for a site of 20-30 acres in Lincoln had not been forthcoming. The ‘Green Wedge’ policy also limited the ability of the club to develop a site contiguous to Lincoln. A site at Burton had been investigated but an application to the Planning Authority would in all likelihood be refused.
The speaker from the Rugby Club, using a PowerPoint presentation showed a site map, a detailed plan, schematics for the layout of the clubhouse – with facilities that meet the Rugby Football Union’s approved minimum requirements including: a bar, catering area, six rooms for changing facilities and a room for meetings.
The meeting was informed that Rugby is played between September and April, currently played Saturday afternoons with juniors on Sundays. Training begins in July runs mid-week throughout the season. The land is being leased from the University of Lincoln and as part of the Club’s agreement teams from the university would play on Wednesday afternoons, most likely during the two twelve week semesters.
The Rugby Club’s spokesman concluded that Rugby is about team work, pushing oneself to the limit. It is a sport which can help develop lifelong skills and attitudes, particularly in the young.
A number of questions were asked by members of the public. Particularly of interest were matters relating to: Drainage of the land, impact of increased traffic flows, the impact of the club on horse riders who use a near-by bridle path, landscaping, and the use of floodlighting together with detrimental competition with other village facilities. The representatives of the Rugby Club addressed all these issues attempting to reassure a somewhat intransigent audience that they wanted to work with both the Parish Council and local residents to ensure that the village benefits as much as possible and concerns that are raised are resolved in the early stages.
Following some discussion between the members of the Parish Council, Chairman Cllr. Terry Williams summed up the benefits of the proposal as: additional sporting facility to the village, scope for creating some additional amenity and recreational features on the site – supported as one of the objectives identified in the Parish Plan – by having a development of this nature the Parish Council would be safeguarding the area against a housing development. Whilst members at the meeting still had reservations the Parish Council agreed to continue dialogue with Lindum Rugby Club and seek clarifications on the issues raised.