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Ashford: Boughton and Eastwell Cricket Club seek new, improved clubhouse for their A251 home ground

By Charlie Harman

A cricket club may soon get a new pavilion because its current facilities are deemed "very inefficient and expensive to run".

Boughton and Eastwell Cricket Club has been at its home ground off the A251 since 1798, with the last major construction project taking place just after the Second World War.

That building - the group's current clubhouse - is now seen as outdated and unfit for purpose and members hope the proposed state-of-the-art replacement can open up the site for wider use.

The Boughton and Eastwell cricket pavillion could be knocked down under new plans. Picture: Paul Amos
The Boughton and Eastwell cricket pavillion could be knocked down under new plans. Picture: Paul Amos

Currently the small pavilion has no hot water, no kitchen facilities and does not comply with modern health and safety standards.

The facilities at present are also non-accessible for people with disabilities, and limit the ability to host planned women and girls teams.

In the planning application registered with Ashford Borough Council (ABC), planning agent Stephen McDonald said: "There are a number of reasons why the replacement clubhouse is essential.

The pavilion is seen as not-fit-for-purpose by the club
The pavilion is seen as not-fit-for-purpose by the club

"Firstly the building is in a poor constructive condition with the maintenance required to keep it usable becoming less viable with every year.

"The building not only fails to meet building regulation standards but it is non-compliant for the delivery of sport and most importantly the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board).

"The building has no DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance, nor is it able to meet the needs of integration with women and girls cricket of child welfare legislation.

What the new clubhouse could look like
What the new clubhouse could look like

"The poor standard of the building's fabric and heating systems mean that it is very inefficient and expensive to run. Finally the building is only usable for the delivery of cricket in the summer months and cannot sustain other community programmes for which there is keen demand."

The 300-member club hopes a larger, more efficient building will make the site in Boughton Aluph more useful and better suited to its purpose.

Located further away from the green, the clubhouse would be less in range of batters than the current cabin.

The application mentions the danger caused by the clubhouse's proximity to the batters. Stock image by Mark Bullimore Photography.
The application mentions the danger caused by the clubhouse's proximity to the batters. Stock image by Mark Bullimore Photography.

ECB and Sport England regulations dictate the larger size of the proposed changing rooms, while LED lights will improve the sustainability and running costs of the site.

The application reads: "The need for the scheme is merited on a number of levels.

"Firstly to replace a building that is near to collapse, to support the needs of this thriving club, to satisfy access issues, to provide expected levels of amenity and to address the long term sustainability of the club which - without this new building - would be threatened.

The clubhouse is situated on the Boughton Lees village green. Picture: Google. (5867281)
The clubhouse is situated on the Boughton Lees village green. Picture: Google. (5867281)

"All of the above have been achieved without the building becoming disproportionately large.

"We would therefore propose that this scheme be approved for planning consent."

A decision on the application - reference number 18/01675/AS - is expected in January.

The deadline for public comments is Saturday, December 15. Visit www.ashford.gov.uk for details.

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