I attended the Town Council meeting last Monday where the third rugby pitch on the Common was discussed. We were led to believe that this was the meeting before it went public as few knew this was in the pipeline.
The Common users met on the Common in September to see what we thought of the proposal. The manager of the Football Club told us that he was not too happy about the Rugby Club getting more space on the Common and that the Football club only had one pitch to use. I said why don’t you use the rugby pitches when they’re not in use. He said they were not allowed to, they are for the Rugby Club only. The Football Club has over 400 members, the Rugby Club has 300. Yet on Monday we were told there were 700 kids needing more space.
As for the wildlife, bees, and other insects, the Rugby Club said they will use special grass for the new pitch which will encourage bees. Wildflowers and grasses have to grow to full height to have flowers on them and you cannot play Rugby in waist high grass!
If it’s true there are 700 kids to use the Common, I would think that is about 500 cars needing to park. That does not include people walking their dogs and others just taking a stroll in the fresh air.
The Rugby Club has put railings up on one of their pitches. Now they have covered them with sponsors’ advertising. I think that is to get the money for the new pitch.
A lot of people in this town live in flats and don’t have a garden to sit in. If we give up our Common to this where can they go? The Rugby Club has taken up both sides of Frees Avenue now, what next ?