Backing soughtfor development

A RUGBY League club’s hopes for the future rests on winning approval for a major housing development.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 12th February 2012, 1:00 pm

Dewsbury Rams would receive enough funding to run the club and keep its community project going for the next 10 years if a bid to build on land around its stadium in Shaw Cross succeeds.

Today the club and developer Stirling Scotfield went public with their plans – and invited local people to have their say.

Rams chairman Mark Sawyer said: “The future of the club is secure, but it’s at what level. It would be impossible for us to keep our development and community facilities running at the same rate [without this].”

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More than 2,000 children took part in the club’s healthy living programme Get Active with the Rams last year.

Mr Sawyer said: “For the club to thrive, we’ve got to utilise the site better, get funding in and be out in the community.

“Our supporters and the people of Dewsbury now have an opportunity to get behind us and help make this happen.”

The proposals include around 200 homes, a 60-bed care home, a play area and nature trail, a floodlit training pitch and junior pitch, and two multi-use games areas.

A new car park would also be provided, allowing the popular car boot sale to continue.

The development would run along the Kirklees-Wakefield border from Owl Lane to Wakefield Road, Earlsheaton, on land to be leased from Kirklees Council.

While the council considers the idea of developing the land, the Rams are keen to hear what local people think.

A Stirling Scotfield spokesman said: “The public consultation is a vital and genuine part of the process. It will inform our plans and we encourage local people to get involved.”

Mr Sawyer added: “We need a ground swell of support and we’re very hopeful it will be there.

“The early indication is that everybody is extremely positive, but we’re not taking anything for granted.”

Fans have already set up a group to promote the plans through online and street petitions.

Dewsbury Rams Development Supporters Group member Chris Battye said: “We want to get behind the proposals and be a visible presence in the town showing our support.”

The council is expected to give its verdict by the end of May. An outline planning application could then be submitted in the summer.

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