OLDHAM RLFC is delighted to hear that the planning application submitted by OMBC in respect of Whitebank’s development was approved at Wednesday’s Planning Committee meeting.
As part of that development Roughyeds will retain a right to train and play at Whitebank, as previously, and will continue to use their office inside the ground as the club’s administrative base.
Said club chairman Chris Hamilton: “This is an exciting opportunity to upgrade facilities in an area where we know they will be well used.
“While the playing of competitive matches at Whitebank is still subject to the ground meeting minimum Rugby Football League standards the work to be carried out shortly, which will include the levelling of the playing surface and the installation of a new 3G artificial pitch, is a major step forward and one we are delighted to be part of.
“This will help to develop local facilities which can only be beneficial to everybody involved.”
As the club has stated previously, fans can be assured that the Roughyeds’ position regarding long-term use of Whitebank remains protected.
More immediately, and already well documented, Roughyeds will again play home games in 2017 at Bower Fold, Stalybridge — a venue which, in 2016, proved to be a superb facility for rugby league and one which supporters thoroughly enjoyed.
Oldham Council’s Statement in full
Oldham Council has been given planning permission to upgrade sporting facilities at Whitebank Stadium into some of the best in Oldham.
Last night’s planning committee agreed plans which will see the existing grass pitch levelled and upgraded to form a 3G all weather pitch so it can be used all year round by sports clubs and the community.
An additional natural turf training pitch will also be developed on an area of naturalised scrubland.
Work is set to begin in the forthcoming weeks and is expected to be finished in Spring 2017.
Councillor Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “This is great news for grassroots sports in the borough as well as local residents as they will have a high quality sporting facility right on their doorstep.
“Once the work is complete the pitch will be able to support football, rugby league and rugby union – the only artificial pitch of its type in the borough.”
As part of the upgrade AVRO Football Club will be granted a lease to use the site as its home ground and will move from their current home at the Lancaster Club, paving the way for developers Bellway to start work building much needed family homes on the site.
AVRO FC will also deliver a number of free community sessions from the stadium and the club are already in advanced talks with a number of other users, several of which are based in the immediate Limehurst and Hollinwood areas to use the facility
Cllr Stretton added: “The planning committee’s decision means we can look to press on with our plans to develop the Lancaster Club site into a flagship residential neighbourhood where people want to live.”