Housing plan to save rugby club?

A plan showing how Dewsbury Rams and developer Stirling Scotfield would like to develop land around the stadium.
A plan showing how Dewsbury Rams and developer Stirling Scotfield would like to develop land around the stadium.

A RUGBY league club’s hopes for the future rest on a major housing development on the Wakefield border.

Dewsbury Rams and developer Stirling Scotfield have revealed plans for 200 homes, a 60-bed care home and eight acres of sporting and community facilities in Shaw Cross, Dewsbury.

The development would run along the Kirklees-Wakefield border from the club’s stadium on Owl Lane to Wakefield Road, Earlsheaton.

Rams chairman Mark Sawyer said: “I believe these proposals represent a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop the land next to our stadium and bring much-needed benefits to our club and community.”

The Rams would receive enough funding to run the club and keep its community projects going for the next 10 years if the bid was successful.

More than 2,000 children took part in the club’s healthy living programme last year.

Mr Sawyer said: “The future of the club is secure, but it’s at what level. To thrive, we’ve got to utilise the site better, get funding in and be out in the community.

“Our supporters and local people now have an opportunity to get behind us and help make this happen.”

The proposals also include a play area and nature trail, a floodlit training pitch and junior pitch, and two multi-use games areas.

A new car park would be provided, allowing the popular car boot sale to continue.

While Kirklees Council considers the idea of leasing out the land for development, the Rams are keen to hear what local people think.

A Stirling Scotfield spokesman said: “The public consultation is a vital and genuine part of the process. It will inform our plans and we encourage local people to get involved.”

Mr Sawyer added: “We need a ground swell of support and we’re very hopeful it will be there. The early indication is that everybody is extremely positive, but we’re not taking anything for granted.”

People can view the plans and make comments via www.dews buryramsdevelopment.co.uk or at two public drop-in sessions.

The sessions are on Monday, February 27, Dewsbury Town Hall, 1.30pm-4.30pm; Wednesday, February 29: Hanging Heaton Cricket Club, Bennett Lane, 9.30am-12.30pm.