Newport rugby club turning scrubland into new pitches

By Alex Moore | Newport | News | Published:

A rugby club has started converting unused scrubland into new pitches for its young players.

Newport Salop Rugby Union Football Club’s plans began with clearing overgrown grass, brambles and nettles from nearly two acres of land at its grounds, just south of the A41, earlier this month.

The Forton Road club says it didn’t know planning permission was needed at the time, but has now submitted a retrospective planning application. In its planning statement, the club says it has expanded in recent years and now has 200 members and 350 youth players who could all, in theory, be on site on a Sunday.

The document says: “A combination of a successfully-run club and growth in housing has meant that, over recent years, we have expanded to meet the growing demand, particularly of youngsters wishing to take up the game.”

It adds that, following an extension of the clubhouse four years ago, “we currently have around 200 members and 350 mini and junior players who, in theory, could all be playing at the club on any one Sunday.”

To expand its playing space, the club identified “an area of level but unused scrubland within the curtilage of the playing fields and grounds, close to the boundary” which has never been used since the club was built in 1980. The land, measuring nearly two acres, could either accommodate two junior pitches or three mini pitches, suitable for players under nine. A single-track road for emergency access will also be provided.

“The land is a small, unused area of overgrown grassland mixed with brambles and nettles,” says the statement.

“While we have now cleared the pitch area, this habitat continues along the base of the Coppice Bank escarpment northwest, following the bypass towards Chetwynd, and is completely unaffected. We did not believe making better use of our current land for the benefit of youngsters would require planning permission, and are now submitting a retrospective planning application, which we hope will be sympathetically dealt with.”

Both Chetwynd Parish Council and Newport Town Council will be consulted about the plans, which are under consultation until November 12. Telford & Wrekin Council will make its decision after that.

Alex Moore

By Alex Moore

Local Democracy Reporter covering Telford.


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