Rugby re­vamp will let Silk­men train in town

Macclesfield Express - - GENERAL ELECTION 2017 - STU­ART GREER

MAC­CLES­FIELD Rugby Club has re­vealed its con­tro­ver­sial re­de­vel­op­ment plans will al­low Mac­cles­field Town FC to train in the town.

The club, which plays at Pri­ory Park, wants to sell some of its ground to fund a new club­house, which will open to the com­mu­nity, a new kitchen and a gym.

The orig­i­nal land and cur­rent club­house will make way for 76 new homes and the ex­ist­ing pitches will be re­or­gan­ised to re­tain four, full­sized adult pitches - in­clud­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial pitch, and four small pitches for the mini and ju­nior teams.

The de­vel­op­ment, which is ex­pected to be de­cided by Cheshire East Coun­cil’s strate­gic plan­ning com­mit­tee on June 28, will also al­low the Silk­men to train in their home town rather than their cur­rent fa­cil­ity in Knutsford.

The scheme, a joint plan with de­vel­oper Jones Homes, has sup­port from Sport Eng­land, Cheshire RFU and the na­tional RFU, there is some ob­jec­tion in­clud­ing from Mac­cles­field Town Coun­cil on the ba­sis that it im­pacts on the green belt.

Peter Harper, the club chair­man, urged decision mak­ers to back the plans.

He said: “We hope the decision mak­ers recog­nise the im­por­tance of our club as a com­mu­nity as­set and the hard work the club have put in over re­cent years to bring for­ward these pro­pos­als for the good of the Club, the sport and the peo­ple of Mac­cles­field.

“The club’s fa­cil­i­ties are in des­per­ate need of in­vest­ment and like most com­mu­nity clubs at this level, we try to keep our mem­ber­ship fees and ticket prices af­ford­able and re-in­vest the re­ceipts into the play­ers and the sport.”

The club, which was formed 130 years ago, wants to start a ladies team but says it is ‘im­pos­si­ble’ with the cur­rent fa­cil­i­ties.

“The de­vel­op­ment will al­low Mac­cles­field Town FC to train in Mac­cles­field at this site.

“Cur­rently there are no pitches avail­able to them in Mac­cles­field, mean­ing they have to train in Knutsford.

“These new fa­cil­i­ties would be open to the whole Mac­cles­field Com­mu­nity and we have had in­ter­est from sev­eral schools and other sports clubs, keen to share the new pitches and club­house.”

Mac­cles­field Town Coun­cil claims the de­vel­op­ment re­moves the green gap and causes high­ways is­sues.

Re­de­vel­op­ment plans for Mac­cles­field Rugby Club

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