I’m delighted to be able to inform you that the Club’s Clubhouse development plan received planning permission at a meeting of WBC’s Planning Committee last night. This is a great step on the road to the achievement of our ambitious plans for both our Club and our Community.
Getting this far has taken over two years and involved an awful lot of work (plenty of which has been undertaken by our unpaid volunteers) and cost. Special mention must go to David Simpson for his incredible commitment to the project and his resilience in the face of all the demands that were placed on us by a range of parties/stakeholders throughout this process, I know I would have either thrown the towel in or said something that I shouldn’t have by now. Next time you see him – buy him a beer!
We’ve also had great support from the RFU throughout the project (especially in the final stages) with Martin Wroe (the NW member of the RFU Development Group) putting in a personal appearance at the Planning Meeting and saying some incredibly positive things about our club, our trajectory and the high esteem in which we are held by the RFU. I’m told that one point he referred to Lymm as “the model community club”. It was also incredibly pleasing to hear from one member of the planning committee that “in 21 years of sitting on the planning committee this was probably the most thorough and detailed application they had seen” – yes, at Lymm RFC if we do things, we do them properly!
So, what next. Well the hard work now starts – but at least we are doing it from a solid foundation and with a clear plan which, hopefully (and as we have found it in the past), will make it easier to bring people (club members and more) along with us. We have to raise an awful lot of money to complete this – but I’m confident that we will get there. One thing to reflect on – it is probably the current members of our M&J section and their parents and families who will benefit the most from this project.
In the near term we have to negotiate the Section 106 conditions with WBC – which I’m told could take 3 months, So probably a pause for breath.
Further news is that we have exercised the option to acquire the Walled Garden and, all things being equal, that should complete sometime next week. Another exciting development.
Finally, our discussions with the RFU over a 3G Pitch are ongoing and making progress. Assuming that the final details will be ironed out (I’m confident that they will), there is a chance that it might be in situ for the start of next season. Personally, I think that the timeline for this is probably a bit tight (a go/no go decision is needed by early April to achieve this timing) so the start of 2018/19 season is probably a better bet.