Havant Rugby Football Club, Fraser Road, Bedhampton (APP/15/00832)

Securing its future as part of a strategy to grow participation in rugby football union, the Club - (established in 1951) - was looking to make better use of its clubhouse, to generate income to develop its sporting ambitions, including returning its 1st XV to the RFU’s national leagues.

I was brought in (just as I had been in 1997/1998 for a project to floodlight the 2nd XV pitch) to submit a planning application to secure flexible mixed use of the clubhouse, including a ground floor space for a children’s day nursery and extension to the main 1st floor function space, by converting a pair of under-used squash courts.

Externally, elevational changes, a new spectator balcony that would oversail storage space and an outdoor, enclosed playspace created for the day nursery were proposed.

Finally, an external underused council MUGA play court was to be resurfaced to form a qualitative enhancement of that playing surface to enable rugby skills training when grass pitches were waterlogged/unplayable.

It was possible to convince Sport England and Havant Borough Council that loss of the squash courts - (whose use and membership had been in decline for some time) - would be compensated for by the qualitative improvements of the MUGA and by preparing an assessment of remaining squash facilities in the locality.

Planning permission was granted under Officer delegated powers without needing to report the matter to elected Members.

Testimonial from client:

“Happy to support your business.”