North Somerset rugby club plans major redevelopment of its 'completely substandard' facilities

Plans include building 182 new flats
Plans include building 182 new flats Credit: LDRS

Plans to build 182 flats and a health centre as part of a North Somerset Rugby Club’s major redevelopment have been submitted.

Weston-super-Mare Rugby Club have joined Studio Hive on proposals to secure a £3 million investment to replace "completely substandard" facilities.

The plans include a new health centre at the site in the bottom two floors of a five-storey block below offices to replace the Graham Road surgery.

Plans submitted by rugby club trustees and Atlas Hive Weston say: "The club has been exploring development options for part of their freehold ownership over a number of years.

"Previous attempts have been made to sell part of the freehold ownership for retail development. For a number of reasons, no deliverable proposal has been forthcoming.

"Studio Hive and Atlas Land approached the club in early 2018 with a compelling proposition to realise value from the club’s land while generating funds to reinvest in new facilities.

"Chief amongst these is also the potential to secure the long-term future of the rugby club itself through the redevelopment proposals."

The club needs £3 million of investment for the plans Credit: LDRS

What is included in the plans?

182 New Apartments

The club says it wants to “realise the potential of underutilised land” and create a new residential quarter for the town.

The 182 “sustainable” apartments will be arranged across four buildings standing up to six storeys high.

The applicants said none of the new flats would be classed as “affordable” due to the location of the site and the scheme’s “marginal viability"

They said it was in a zone where the council did not require developments to provide any on-site affordable housing, contributions or further viability evidence.

Parking for the apartments is arranged around the perimeter, including 223 bays for cars and secure spaces for 332 bikes.

New Health Centre

The applicants are seeking full planning permission for the new surgery with 15,000 sqft of office space above.

The plans say the uses will add "much needed diversity to the mix of the development which, together with the sporting and leisure facilities, provide a unique environment in which to live.

"It is our hope that the new development will contribute to the regeneration of the area and will provide sufficient activity and a diverse mix of uses to create a resilient, sustainable community in a central location."

The application says: “The Graham Road surgery is moving from its existing accommodation, which is no longer able to accommodate the functional requirements of the users and meet modern standards such as the equality act.

"17 other sites within the town centre have been investigated with the conclusion that a purpose-built facility at WSM RFC would best serve the needs of the community."

New sports facilities are planned to include a two-storey clubhouse, a catering standard kitchen, a 260-seat grandstand, and a gym Credit: LDRS

Sports Facilities

The plans say: "The existing clubhouse and grandstand date from the early 1960s and are completely substandard for a club of this importance.

"It’s essential that the facilities are improved and brought into line with other clubs in the top-flight of the Southwest Premier League.

"As a sporting destination the facilities will be vastly superior to that which currently exists.

"The new facilities will help establish a new standard for the rugby club and will be appropriate for the league in which they play, providing improved club facilities in a well-connected location, close to the centre of Weston-super-Mare and the train station."

The new facilities will include a two-storey clubhouse, a catering standard kitchen, a 260-seat grandstand, a gym and changing rooms.

Credit: Stephen Sumner (Local Democracy Reporting Service)