Rugby club members to vote on plans for new home at sporting hub

Club members will officially vote on proposed plans to relocate to a newly created sporting hub in South Tyneside.

Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 7:01 am
The move could see the rugby, cricket, tennis and squash sections of South Shields and Westoe Sports Club switch to Temple Park.

The cabinet of South Tyneside Council has given the go-ahead to the local authority entering into an agreement with South Shields and Westoe Sports Club to lease land at the park, off John Reid Road, South Shields.

There are rugby, tennis, cricket and squash sections of the club, which has outgrown its current home and identified part of the Temple Park complex as a potential new site.

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The club’s current site, off Dean Road, South Shields, would be redeveloped to create 82 new family homes.

The club is now able to undertake detailed ground investigations and other scoping works, with a view to moving.

The agreement for a lease would allow for the expansion of the club, but will also see the facility used as a platform for the council to create a larger sporting academy for the community.

Now the club’s various divisions are set to have their say on the plans at an annual general meeting (AGM) which takes place later this month - but it’s unlikely there will be any objections.

Duncan Murray, chairman of the club, said: “Our AGM will take place later this month and was it means is that all decisions will be officially ratified then.

“It’s just routine, basically everyone is down to agree to the proposals.

“It’s still very early days, they’re all just plans in principle at the moment, it’s nowhere near the council’s planning stage.

“But if, all being well, it does happen, this will be a fantastic sporting facility for the borough, which would be one of the best in the region.”

The current leisure complex at Temple Park covers about 110 acres and has enough capacity to retain the existing council facilities, as well as welcome the club.

The proposed development area, which covers 38 acres, is now used as football pitches which have deteriorated in recent years, leading to poor usage.

Under the terms of the agreement, the club would replace the existing pitches to meet Sport England requirements and the council would own and manage them.

A council spokesman said: “The agreement to lease will allow the club to look at ground conditions in more detail as part of further due diligence.

“The exact location of the club house and various pitches will be determined by the results of these further studies. We can confirm however that the football pitches will be within the existing Temple Park leisure complex.”