Rugby club gets green light for new building

An artist's impression of the new clubhouse for Banbury Bulls Rugby Club NNL-141003-120113001
An artist's impression of the new clubhouse for Banbury Bulls Rugby Club NNL-141003-120113001

Banbury Rugby Club can proceed with plans to build a new clubhouse after being given the go-ahead by Cherwell district councillors.

The club secured its future at its Bodicote Park home in October after signing a 100-year lease with the council.

Permission was granted for the new building at last Thursday’s planning meeting at Bodicote House, subject to conditions that include the provision of covered cycle facilities and off-street parking.

Tim Rogers, club officer at Banbury Rugby Club, is delighted with the news.

He said: “This is absolutely great news for the club. We are continuing with various fund-raising ideas to help raise more money but with the great performances of the first team in the league this season and the securing of the lease last year, it is a great time for everyone involved at the club.

“We have a junior section of about 400 to 450 players and our current temporary building has not been good enough to support that. The new building will be much better and provide facilities to help provide more support for junior sports teams in the town.” The proposal will see the club demolish its current temporary clubhouse and build a new building that will incorporate a large hall with bar, kitchen, storage areas and toilets.

It will also see the creation of a new children’s play area on the site.

The new building will be spread over two floors and provide a modern building for the club’s junior teams and senior team.

Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “This site has a very long and complex planning history that stretches back to 2002 when planning permission was originally granted for a sports pavilion, pitch layout, access road and parking.

“By granting permission for the new building we can now look forward to a new modern clubhouse being built, which will be sympathetic to its surroundings.”

Mr Rogers added that he hoped the club would be able to get involved in the community once the new building is completed and said the clubhouse could be used for different functions by other clubs in Banbury.

A construction date to start work on the building has not yet been confirmed but it is hoped it will be complete and ready to use when the club starts the 2014/15 season.