Future of major Norfolk rugby club in jeopardy

Wymondham Rugby Club players currently have to play on muddy pitches due to poor drainage

Wymondham Rugby Club players currently have to play on muddy pitches due to poor drainage - Credit: Archant

Wymondham Rugby Club says it is fighting for its future as an application to move and develop the club on a different site is likely to be rejected.

The club, which has been based at Tuttles Lane for 35 years and has 1,200 members, has requested permission to sell the ground for the development of 90 homes which is part of a plan to build a further 300 homes on Norwich Common.

The club's chairman, Andrew Kilby, said a new club house and pitches are vital for the club and its survival.

He said: 'We are fighting for our future. This club has grown hugely over the years but our facilities are locked in the early 1980s.

'Our club house was literally falling down around our ears over the summer, our pitches are too small and the drainage is dreadful.

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'We haven't got enough parking, our training facilities and floodlighting are totally inadequate - it's only the enthusiasm of our 1,200 members that keeps us going.'

Despite 115 letters in support of the club's move and redevelopment and another 33 letters of objection, South Norfolk Council's development and management committee have recommended the application be refused.

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The report states that the 'benefits are outweighed by the negative impacts resulting from the lack of available secondary school places within Wymondham'.

And it also states the development is considered inappropriate because it 'would erode and further reduce the strategic gap between Wymondham and Herthersett'.

The club's new ground would lie between Melton Road to the north-west of Norwich Common and would include sports pitches, a club house, artificial pitches, floodlighting and parking.

Mr Kilby added: 'This is our one and only chance to see this club grow and deliver a fantastic sporting facility for Wymondham.'

The application will be decided at the meeting on Wednesday, January 7 at 10am at South Norfolk Council's headquarters on Swan Lane in Long Stratton.

What are your views? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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