West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2021-01-18
End date: 2021-02-28
Results: 2021-03-30

[ARCHIVED] Proposal for a new sports ground at Newbury Rugby Club

Have your say

This consultation is closed.


In February 2020, the council approved the Playing Pitch Strategy, which is a strategic assessment that provides an up-to-date analysis of supply and demand for playing pitches (grass and artificial) in West Berkshire. The strategy and evidence base used national guidance and facility insight from Sport England and governing bodies of sport, eg the Football Association, the Rugby Football Union and the English Cricket Board.

The assessment focused on outdoor facilities for the main sports played across West Berkshire:

  1. Football
  2. Rugby Union
  3. Cricket
  4. Hockey

The highlights of the assessment were as follows:

  • A deficit of pitches, but not across all age ranges/sports types
  • A deficit of artificial grass pitches
  • A need to replace Faraday Road Sports Ground at Step 6 requirements
  • An opportunity to reduce the deficit by working with schools to increase community use of their existing facilities and develop new facilities on their sites

The strategic importance of creating a new, fit-for-purpose community sports ground is significant. The council has undertaken feasibility studies of a number of potential sites, to assess their suitability as a sports ground. The feasibility study for Newbury Rugby Club has demonstrated that this is a very practical option.

Why we want your views

We'd like your views on our pdf icon proposal for a new sports ground [610kb] at Newbury Rugby Club. In particular, we'd like to know whether you support the proposal and the construction of an artificial pitch, what facilities you'd like to see at the ground, and whether this new sports ground will give you more opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity. 

The survey should take approximately ten minutes to complete and your feedback will be used to inform the details of an application for planning permission, should we agree Heads of Terms with Newbury Rugby Club and Executive Members decide to proceed with the proposal.

What happens next

Following the Executive meeting held on 29 April 2021, the report considered and the decision taken are posted below. Any future planning application will be subject to a separate statutory consultation. 

What you told us

There were 349 responses to the survey, the full results of which can be viewed in Appendix D of the report considered as item 8 (EX4010) by the Executive Committee on 29 April 2021.

The results are seen as broadly supportive, and when collated on a supportive vs not supportive principle (excluding the neutral responses), the summary is as follows:

(a) How far do you agree with our proposal to provide a new sports ground at NRC?
Supportive 53.1%, Not Supportive 35.4%

(b) How far do you agree with our proposal that the new sports ground be a Step 6 facility?
Supportive 46.1%, Not Supportive 27.4%

(c) How far do you agree that different sports sharing a facility is a good idea?
Supportive 64.1%, Not Supportive 21.7%

What we did

The Executive Committee resolved that:

  • The draft Agreement for Lease and its appendices, including the draft Lease and associated draft agreement with the Newbury Rugby Club in relation to the sports ground provision at the site, be approved.
  • Authority be delegated to the Service Director of Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Service Director of Communities and Wellbeing, to enter into agreement for lease and any other agreements, including any amendments that are necessary, and in line with the agreed Heads of Terms.
  • The allocation of funds be approved.