Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Hawks prepare for change

THIS is what Henley Rugby Club’s new £350,000 changing room block would look like

THIS is what Henley Rugby Club’s new £350,000 changing room block would look like.

Plans have been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council for the second phase of work to transform the club’s facilities at Dry Leas, off Marlow Road, next year.

These include a single-storey extension on the western side of the building to provide changing rooms and toilets that meet Rugby Football Union standards. It would also include the club shop.

A design and access statement by Mike Daubney Architects says: “It is fair to say that the existing building is utilitarian at best and although it is not all prominent in views from public vantage points, it does not make a particularly positive contribution to the site or its surroundings.

“The extension would provide the opportunity to create a better quality building overall which, at the very least, would preserve the character and appearance of this part of the Henley conservation area.

“The principle rationale for the application is to ensure that suitable changing facilities are provided for all the club’s teams to RFU compliant standards.” The development would mean a reduction in the number of car parking spaces from 172 to 157 but this would still be “more than adequate” even for match days.

The club’s existing changing rooms, gym, treatment room and offices are in a separate building to the east of the clubhouse.

The clubhouse would be reclad and better insulated and new double-glazed windows would be installed to make it more energy efficient.

Hawks chairman Mike Tretheway said the club had applied for grants from the RFU and Sport England and it was searching for other major sponsors.

He said: “We’re building a new block because it would be impossible to bring the old block up to current standards.”

It would mean the players were closer to the pitch when they exit the changing room, he added.

The first phase of work to refurbish the clubhouse at a cost of £475,000 is set to begin in May and be completed in time for the first game of next season in September.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of the town council’s planning commmittee members agreed to support the latest plans.

The district council is set to make a decision by March 11.

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