Another rugby pitch to be built at club's 'world-class' training hub
PUBLISHED: 11:55 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:50 15 October 2019
A professional rugby union club wants to build another pitch in North Somerset as part of its overhaul of its training area.
Bristol Bears has applied to North Somerset Council to build an additional rugby pitch, training grids and groundsman facilities on land at Kingcott Farm, between Failand and Abbots Leigh.
The rugby club was granted permission by the authority in February to build a two-storey training barn containing a gym, changing rooms, a floodlit all-weather 4G pitch, three grass pitches and offices for staff.
Work began to create the 'world-class training complex' in March, and the club believes the extra facilities will help it 'push towards domestic and European titles'.
The Kingcott Farm site is one of a number of sports facilities in the two villages, with Bristol City Football Club, Clifton College Sports Club and Queen Elizabeth Hospital School all applying to the council to expand their facilities in the past two years.
A report prepared by the club said: "We consider the facilities are appropriate in the greenbelt, the impact would not conflict with the purposes of including the land within the greenbelt.
"The proposals will assist in providing adequate training facilities and attracting new youth players to build on Bristol Rugby's position within the Premiership, maintain its status and push towards domestic and European titles.
"This application demonstrates there are no other material considerations that indicate permission should not be wholly supported."
The additional pitch will be adjacent to the existing pitches and no floodlights are proposed.
Two single-storey cabins will provide facilities for the groundsman, which will be temporary units relocated from its sister club, Bristol City FC.
The complex is due to be completed in the spring with all teams from first XV to junior age groups to be housed on the site.
The Rugby Football Union and Sport England support the plans.
A statement submitted to the council by Sport England said: "The club has strong links to the community and delivers a comprehensive development programme for junior players within the local area.
"This proposal will support and develop the work that the club delivers."