A Preston rugby club looks set to become one of the first in the country to play on an artificial pitch.Advertisement
Preston Grasshoppers is one of six selected by the RFU for funding to revamp its Lightfoot Lane stadium.
The current pitch struggles with being waterlogged and the main rugby body in the UK wants to see pitches available for use for longer periods of the year.
Plans submitted by the rugby club have been recommended for approval by Preston City Council’s planning officers.
The plan involves a number of additional floodlights as the pitch can be used from 9am to 10pm each day of the week.
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No objections were received from nearby residents, although Woodplumpton Parish Council asked for a condition limiting the use of the floodlights to the hours above to be included.
A spokesman for the rugby club said at the time of the application: “The club are delighted to have been selected, it is recognition of the club’s stability, good management and success with six mens teams, two womens teams and more than 350 mini, junior and youth players.
“The RFU’s aim is to grow the game of rugby and recognises that first class facilities will attract players and enhance their playing experience. There is also recognition that increasingly wet warm winters are causing many games and training sessions to be lost with players being turned away or lost to the game due to poor playing conditions or postponed games.”
Council officers write in their report: “The proposal would replace an existing playing field with an artificial pitch and is considered to provide better quality recreation provision by enabling longer periods of use throughout the year for the purposes of rugby games and training.”
Councillors on the city council’s planning committee are due to hear the full plans on Thursday 7 July from 1.30pm in the Town Hall.
What do you think of Grasshoppers’ pitch plan? Do you play for them or live nearby? Let us know in the comments below