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Officials back plans for sports hub in Wootton Bassett
An exciting new Sports Hub in Wootten Bassett will provide cricket, football, rugby, tennis and running provision that will be the envy of communities across the South West.'
Located on the northern edge of Wootton Bassett, the proposed £6m+ Sports Hub will comprise two key elements: - An impressive 26-acre development by the Wootton Bassett Sports Association, replacing existing facilities dating back to the 1930s - The proposed relocation of Wootton Bassett Rugby Club to Ballards Ash This week, the Wootton Bassett Sports Association is submitting a detailed planning application for its element of the new sports hub, which will replace its existing sports complex at Rylands Way.
The Association's relocation lead, Paul Harrison explains: "Our existing seven-acre site is far too small to support the requirements of our members and the local community.
It simply does not have the space to accommodate the 17 teams belonging to the town's Football Club; or the three teams and 50-plus children belonging to our Cricket Club; or the needs of the Running Club members; or the demand for tennis courts from members of our thriving Tennis Club which has 13 teams.
"It has long been our dream to offer all our clubs the resources to play on a single site with the scope to grow, fostering a stronger club identity," said Paul.
"Developed through collaboration with the members, local community, local authorities and national sports bodies and associations, the plans being submitted this week are a once in a generation opportunity to see this dream become a reality."
The new purpose designed Sports Hub will offer the local community three full size and two junior grass football pitches, an artificial training pitch, eight floodlit tennis courts and two cricket squares.
There will also be enhanced provision for the running club, and attractive meeting and recreational facilities.
The Association is funding its element of the new Sports Hub through the sale of its existing seven acre site for residential development. All funds from this sale will be reinvested in the new facilities.
Paul Harrison said: "For a number of years the Association has been exploring the opportunity to relocate to a larger site, providing facilities that meet the needs of the town and our Sports Clubs into the 21st century.
"Achieving this is crucial to enhancing the legacy of Major Gerard Buxton, who provided the Association with the land for our ground, built some seventy years ago when that site was at the edge of town.
"We have now outgrown these amenities and need to find a sustainable way of providing the local community with appropriate sports facilities for the next 70 years.
"The Association's Relocation Committee - made up entirely of volunteers - has taken its inspiration from Gerard Buxton in developing plans for our new Sports Hub.
"We plan to carry forward his name celebrating his vision for the local community."
The Association has undertaken considerable research in planning this crucial relocation project consulting closely with planning officers, national sporting bodies, the community and other relevant authorities, in developing the plans.
Finding a site that is accessible for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, as well as those who, by necessity, will travel by car, has been a priority for the Association.
The location identified as most suitable is the land north of the B4042 Malmesbury Road, opposite the existing Ballards Ash complex, thus establishing a major Sports Hub for the community.
The plans have also been shared and carefully reviewed by regional and national sports bodies, and the planned Sports Hub has won backing from the English Cricket Board, Football Association, Lawn Tennis Association, Rugby Football Union, and Sport England.
Paul Harrison said: "Our plans submitted this week aim to secure and enhance the legacy of Major Gerard Buxton, providing the facilities that our members and wider community require today, and securing the future of the Wootton Bassett Sports Association."