Council commences planning process for Canal Parks sports facilities
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for enhancements to the Highland Rugby Club, as part of its detailed project plans for sports facilities associated with the West Link.
The proposals include the provision of a new IRB standard all weather pitch, two re-graded grass pitches, pitch lighting, a new community clubhouse with eight changing rooms and car and bus parking. The project will also provide a community facility managed by Highlife Highland which will enable wider community access to the new facilities.
The synthetic pitch will provide an excellent new surface for rugby, but will also be available for community use for sports such as football, shinty, hockey and American football.
The planning process will include a public display of the proposals at the Inverness Aquadome on Tuesday 27th January 2015 from 10am until 8pm.
The project delivery is conditional on the Council obtaining the statutory consents to build the Inverness West Link road and funding being approved by the Council. The cost of the facility is estimated at £3.5 million, with potential to attract funding contributions by national bodies.
The Council has been working on proposals for Highland Rugby Club to remain at the Canal Parks involving a range of partners including Highlife Highland, Highland Rugby Football Club, sportscotland and the Scottish Rugby Union. Issues addressed included capital funding for the project, opportunities to maximise sporting use of the all-weather pitch, and long term financial management of the facilities.
Andrew Little, Chairman of Highland Rugby Club said: "We have had very positive discussions with Highland Council throughout the planning process. Highland Rugby Club has played at Canal Park for many years and the decision to stay at this location is well founded. We commend the Council's initiative in bringing forward alternative proposals to accommodate our playing requirements in the light of the opportunities provided by the proposed road construction.
“The proposals for the new facilities are excellent and will stand us in good stead for the future of the Club. I am sure that it will be welcomed that the wider community and other sporting groups will also benefit from these plans, with access through Highlife Highland.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry is delighted at the progress being made in accommodating the future needs of local sports clubs.
He said: “The Council is fully supportive of the Rugby Club’s objectives of delivering a major enhancement to the pitch, clubhouse and changing facilities. This will be a major asset to the city. I am delighted with the progress we are making across a number of fronts associated with the Inverness West Link and the associated sports and leisure projects.”
He added, “The delivery of the West Link is a key commitment in the Council’s Programme and will greatly improve our infrastructure, linking communities, reducing congestion in the city and supporting economic development.”