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Sports clubs welcome plans for 35 acres of new pitches
Buy this photo » Paul Costello, of Didcot Cricket Club, which may need a new venue when the power station is decommissioned. Picture: OX52496: Damian Halliwell
SPORTS clubs have welcomed plans for a “desperately needed” outdoor sports facility on the edge of Didcot.
The plans would see 35 acres of sports grounds created next to 56 acres of commercial development on land next to the A4130 north of the town.
This would include football, cricket, rugby, junior football pitches, tennis courts and 2.5 acres of allotments.
Plans are being drawn up by developers Reef Estates for a formal application to be submitted to the Vale of White Horse District Council within the next three months.
The site borders Didcot but falls in the Vale boundary.
Currently the commercial plans include about six to 18 warehouses over 850,000sq ft, three car showrooms across 20,000sq ft, large shop space over 30,000sq foot for trade shops like kitchen fitters, and about 20 detached homes.
The president of Didcot Rugby Club, Andy Rolfe, said it could be the answer to their six-year search for new grounds.
Mr Rolfe said: “We are getting to that point now that we are outgrowing the facilities we have and we need to find a solution.
“We want to stay as close to Didcot as possible to remain a club for the town so we are very keen for any of these plans which would provide us with the pitches we desperately need.
“If you look at other rugby clubs at Abingdon and Harwell they all play on multi-sports pitches.”
The club currently plays over two sites at the public park, St Edmunds Park, and St Birinus School.
Chairman of Didcot Cricket Club, Paul Costello, also welcomed the sports park project.
He said: “It would mean the club has long-term security. At the moment our first and second team play in the power station grounds, but our third and forth teams rent grounds at Crowmarsh Gifford.
“So it would be great to have a place with two cricket fields. It would mean they could all play at the same place.”
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