Vision for Wymondham rugby club’s future home is unveiled
- Credit: Archant
A sleek two-storey clubhouse bearing a bold rampant lion crest will be the centrepiece of a rugby club's £5.5m vision for the future.
Wymondham Rugby Football Club has unveiled its first detailed plans of the building and new club grounds, which will be built on 30 acres of farmland just north of Norwich Common, to the east of the town.
Andrew Kilby, club chairman said it was a 'massive moment' in the history of the club, which has been based in Tuttles Lane for the past 40 years.
Mr Kilby said: 'We outgrew our current site a long time ago and it's taken years of work to secure a new home and the future of rugby in Wymondham.
'There's lots of hard work to come but very soon we're going to see those dreams start to take shape.'
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The club was finally given the green light for the scheme last year, but the appearance, landscaping and layout plans have just been submitted to South Norfolk Council for approval.
Work is due to start in the spring on laying out the pitches with building work following on to create a new club house.
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The club, which has nearly 1,400 members, aims to play the first games at its new home at the start of the 2018 season.
Coupled with the club's new home are plans to give its current Tuttles Lane site over to housing development, with 90 new homes to be built there. An additional 300 homes are earmarked for a site to the south-east of the new rugby club off the B1172 Norwich Common, just to the west of the Elm Farm Business Park. Access to the new rugby club will be through this new estate.
Getting outline planning permission for the scheme was celebrated as a major victory for the club.
South Norfolk Council's planning committee unanimously rejected the vision in January 2014 in an effort to protect the strategic gap between Wymondham and Hethersett, and because of the extra pressure on education and other services the new homes would bring.
But Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for communities and local government, stepped in last September to overturn that decision.
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A clubhouse for the future
The 'barn-style' clubhouse will be sited next to a 208-space car park and offer 360-degree views of the surrounding pitches.
A design and access statement prepared by Norwich-based architects Chaplin Farrant says the building would ' create a sense of intrigue' as it is approached from the south.
The brick-and-wood clubhouse will be energy efficient, generating some power from solar panels on the roof. The club's red lion crest will appear on three of the four sides of the building.
The site plans include four main pitches, including an all-weather 3G pitch, plus extra pitches for the club's youth and minis' sections.
Mr Kilby said: 'This is going to be a great facility for the local community.
'It's absolutely essential for our future and our ambitions as a rugby club, but we want other local sports and community groups to make their home here too. This is going to be a great asset in the sporting life of Norfolk.'