Saturday, 31 October 2009

Lincoln Rugby Football Club Relocation

The Lincoln Rugby Football Club's application for planning permission has now been submitted to West Lindsey District Council, the planning authority, for their proposed new ground at a site on Lodge Lane, Nettleham.

They aim to construct a two storey club house incorporating six changing rooms, a function room and bar with car parking for 150 and ancillary facilities.

Together with plans to include four full sized pitches and a minimum of seven pitches for use by the club's mini and junior sections.

The plans have been submitted following agreement with the University for a 50 year lease over a site of 32.5 acres. The lease will be drawn up under the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act, which means that under normal circumstances the club will be entitled to a renewal of the lease for a further 50 years. There will be a break clause after 25 years and if the University decide to exercise that option or seek to break the lease upon expiry (i.e. in 50 years time), they will be obliged to relocate the club onto an acceptable alternative site, with two years prior notice.

The facilities will be utilised by University students to train and play Rugby, Rugby League (in season) and American Football. Their matches are usually played on Wednesday afternoons.

Representatives of the Rugby Club have met regularly with representatives of Nettleham Parish Council and are working with them to address the views of local residents. Nettleham Woodland Trust, a local charity, is keen to be involved in the landscaping of the site.

The Club have obtained a revised costing for the project and expect to be able to deliver the facility within a figure of £1,450,000.

The Longdales Trust remains supportive and has agreed to provide an award of £500,000with the possibility of a further grant or loan of £100,000

West Lindsey District Council have received a submission for an application for grant funding of £100,000.

The Rugby Club expect to raise around £200,000 from their own membership and have other 'irons in the fire' which could raise a further £150,000 – this includes a possible loan of £100,000 from the RFU.

Unfortunately, the Club's application to Sport England for funding of £400,000 has been refused, so the club are urgently seeking other sources of capital to replace this.

The Club expect a decision on the planning application by the end of the year, although it is believed that the application will go to the Planning Committee at west Lindsey early in the new year, and, if the club can raise the majority of the finance required in good time, contractors could be on site by 1 April next year with completion towards the end of 2010.

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