Rugby club in land sell-off for club­house

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

MAC­CLES­FIELD Rugby Club is propos­ing to sell off part of its ground for hous­ing to build a new club­house.

The club, which plays at Pri­ory Park, wants to sell some land on Pri­ory Lane to Jones Homes to build 68 homes.

It will then use the cash from the sale to fund a new 21st cen­tury club­house, which can of­fer func­tion and con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­i­ties for the wider com­mu­nity, a new kitchen and a gym.

The orig­i­nal land and club­house will make way for hous­ing, mean­ing the pitches will be re­or­gan­ised to al­low the club to re­tain four, full-sized adult pitches, while adding four small pitches for the mini and ju­nior teams.

It also means the club can in­stall proper drainage for its pitches and build a new club­house which al­lows more than one team to use it at a time.

Chair­man Peter Harper said the scheme was es­sen­tial to en­sure the club’s fu­ture.

He said: “The pro­pos­als seek to de­liver a more sus­tain­able fu­ture for the club, that al­lows a con­sis­tent in­come stream de­liv- ered from new and ex­cit­ing fa­cil­i­ties, which would ben­e­fit not just the rugby club, but the wider com­mu­nity of Mac­cles­field.

“Our cur­rent fa­cil­i­ties are not de­signed to max- imise in­come and are in des­per­ate need of mod­erni­sa­tion, but even then, the lay­out and de­sign of the club­house isn’t func­tional, with no dis­abled ac­cess, a tiny kitchen and to­tally in­ad­e­quate chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“Cur­rently, due to the lay­out, we can’t have ju­nior and se­nior play­ers, or fe­male and male play­ers, us­ing the fa­cil­i­ties at the same time.”

He added: “Our pitches are in dire need of ma­jor drainage and im­prove­ment works and can cur­rently only be used once a week – less with the wet weather we’ve been hav­ing re­cently.

“Our mini and ju­nior sec­tions are a hugely im­por­tant part of the club, but due to the sod­den pitches, they have had to can­cel nu­mer­ous train­ing ses­sions and matches this sea­son.

“We see this pro­posed de­vel­op­ment as es­sen­tial to se­cure the fu­ture of Mac­cles­field’s most suc­cess­ful sport­ing club for gen­er­a­tions to come, and we’re very aware that this op­por­tu­nity may never come again.”

The club has been de­bat­ing the plans, which have not yet been sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil, since 2013. A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion was launched at the club yes­ter­day.

●● Plans by Mac­cles­field Rugby Club to re­de­velop its Pri­ory Park ground

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