£5m homes plan given green light

Chris Battye has been one of many champions of the project.
Chris Battye has been one of many champions of the project.

Plans to redevelop Dewsbury Rams and build 206 homes nearby have finally been given the green light.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has rubber-stamped the plan for Harron Homes to start work on the former Shaw Cross colliery site.

The deal secures the longer term future of the Dewsbury Rams, who will share a £4.9m windfall with Kirklees Council and community groups. Harron Homes will provide a full size floodlit all-weather sports pitch and two floodlit all weather multi use games areas suitable for a variety of sports including five-a-side football.

Club chairman Mark Sawyer said: “This is great news for us – it’s been a long, hard road. We’re looking forward to using these much needed facilities.”

Mr Sawyer said he belived it would 18 months before the all-weather pitch would be ready.

The developers will also build a new 334-space car park for the Rams.

Chris Battye, of the Dewsbury Rams Development Supporters Group, said he had never known such a buzz around the club. “The players are excited about the further training facilities,” he added.

The Rams, who will start the 2015 in the new format Championship, have just appointed Damian Gibson as a rugby league development officer to work in local schools, and have created a new second team as part of their plans.