Sheppey Rugby Club clubhouse, Lower Road, Minster
Sheppey Rugby Club is “days away” from hearing whether an application to transform its Lower Road headquarters has been successful.
A proposal to install extra changing rooms and a function room, designed to serve the whole community, was submitted to Swale council in July.
The club’s chairman, Neil Golding, said it was exciting to be near to hearing a final decision on the plans which have been “six or seven years in the making”.
“It’s taken so long to get together because we’ve been talking to stakeholders and people across the community,” he said.
“We’ve had lots of support from Minster Parish Council and local groups so hopefully it will go through.
“We see this as a chance to make the club a community as well as rugby facility.”
The proposed development includes the building of six new changing rooms - tailored to Rugby Football Union (RFU) standards - on the site of the current clubhouse.
It will include space for two referees’ rooms, a gymnasium, a physio facility, an office and a club shop.
There are also plans to construct a function room with a bar, kitchen and roof terrace giving views of the pitch.
This new building will be attached to the clubhouse.
Mr Golding said if the scheme is given the go ahead, the process of finding £600,000 to build it will begin.
He hopes it will be ready in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup to make it the “flagship” viewing spot for fans during the competition.
Sheppey’s first team plays in the London and South East Division 3, and the first game of the new season took place at Stupple Field on Saturday.
Mr Golding said: “We want to take Sheppey even higher, but with these plans we also see a chance to get more people playing rugby and involving the club with the community.
“We’ve been in close contact with the council, and at the moment, the signs are very positive.”