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New design unveiled for Rec Club rebuild

The team behind the redevelopment of Congresbury’s Rec Club has unveiled a new plan featuring an upper floor and viewing balconies.

This design – on the same footprint as the existing Rec Club – replaces the original two-building approach unveiled in the spring and follows consultation with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“It is important to comply with the ECB requirements if we are to have a chance of a successful application for a grant from them towards the cost,” explained cricket club president Les Owen who is leading Project Construct, the name given to the team exploring the best way to develop a new cricket, tennis and social club building on the King George V Playing Field (KGV).

Since the original plans were unveiled in the spring the Project Construct team has held an online questionnaire which had some 115 responses with 87 per cent of respondents in favour of the redevelopment and further work has been done on the design.

Now the KGV Trustees have started a pre-planning application consultation with North Somerset District Council. This process involves submitting an overview and some detail to the planning department and getting their feedback before a formal application for planning permission is submitted.

How the rebuilt Rec Club could look

Mr Owen said that during consultation with the ECB it became clear that they would be unable to support the original ‘two building’ design with a new changing rooms’ building alongside the footprint of the existing Recreation Club.

This is because the new building would be behind the bowlers’ arms on the east side of the ground and that, and the need for sight screens directly in front of the changing rooms, would interfere with the normal playing of cricket and would adversely impact the look and feel of a traditional village cricket ground

Accordingly the Project Committee has now come up with a new design involving a building exactly on the footprint of the existing Rec Club but with an upper floor consisting of changing rooms/tennis viewing room/committee room, and a ground floor with the bar and social facilities as the existing building has. It is this design that is the subject of the pre-application consultation. 

Some extracts of the pre-application supporting material are available to view by clicking here which show the proposed floor plans, elevations and materials to be used.

Any comments on this proposal can be made to the KGV Trustees and the Project Committee by emailing newrecclub@gmail.com

Changes planned at Rec Club to strengthen management

Congresbury Recreation Club wants to strengthen its management committee and put in place a new code of conduct for all members.

The King George V Trustees, who have overall responsibility for the management of the fields and all activity on them and who delegate the day to day management to the Rec Club, have appointed cricket club president Les Owen as interim chairman. He will serve until the end of 2021.

Mr Owen paid tribute to his predecessor Andy Elvin for the work he has done over the last three years to improve the club and change its image.

“The Rec Club is for all members and sports participants and should present a welcoming, friendly and enjoyable atmosphere,” said Mr Owen.

Mr Owen, a lifelong Liverpool fan and Anfield season ticket holder who played local league football around Bristol for many years, said:

“My personal motivation in taking this on for six months is to help create an environment that is conducive to participation in sport and recreation by all in the village, and to try to ensure that the Rec is operating and managed in a way that maximises the chances of funding support for a new building.”

The Trustees have asked Mr Owen to strengthen the Rec Club committee and make it more representative of the village. The club rules and code of conduct for members will also be reviewed.

A key objective will be to produce a three-year plan for the club as part of the application process for grant funding for a new clubhouse.

“Once lockdown eases I would hope that all villagers will feel able to become members and help us secure the Rec Club’s future as a centre of sport and recreation in Congresbury,” said Mr Owen.

The Rec Club committee would welcome contact from anyone who would like to learn more about the plans for the future and who may be interested in helping. Please email newrecclub@gmail.com

Villagers back Rec Club rebuild project

The project to rebuild Congresbury’s Rec Club has received the backing of more than 87 per cent of those who took part in an online survey. Only eight per cent said they didn’t think the redevelopment would benefit the village. Others were unsure.

“This is extremely encouraging and just the sort of support we hoped to get,” said Les Owen who is leading Project Construct, the name given to the plans to redevelop the Rec Club with additional changing rooms for the cricket and tennis clubs.

Almost one-fifth of respondents indicated that they would be prepared to help or get involved as a trustee or join the Rec Club committee. A further 29 per cent said they would consider making a financial contribution.

“If anyone who wants to get more involved could contact us sooner rather than later we would really appreciate it,” said Mr Owen. You can get in touch by email at newrecclub@gmail.com or by speaking to any cricket, tennis, football or Rec Club committee member.

Another 74 per cent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to use the new facilities more often while 60 per cent said they would be interested in making use of hiring the club for private functions.

Almost half of those who took part in the survey said they would be interested in keep-fit activities such as aerobics, pilates or dancing being included in the redevelopment plans and almost 40 per cent said the availability of meeting rooms would be useful for organisations they belong to.

Meanwhile talks with various sporting organisations which could provide grants towards the cost of the project continue, explained Mr Owen.

“We should be able to provide further updates on the project including costs and more detailed architect’s plans in early summer,” he said.

Last chance to have your say on Rec Club rebuild

Responses to the survey about redeveloping the Rec Club and building a separate cricket/tennis pavilion have been overwhelmingly positive. The survey will close at midnight on Friday April 30th so if you haven’t taken part, please do so now by clicking on this link

Results of the survey will be published in due course and as plans progress, the Project Construct team will keep villagers up-to-date.

New Rec Club plans welcomed by villagers

Plans to redevelop the Rec Club and build a new cricket and tennis pavilion on the King George V Playing Field have been given a huge thumbs up with more than 95 per cent of those surveyed saying the development would benefit the village.

And more than 80 per cent of people said they would use the new facilities more with 57 per cent welcoming a wider choice of indoor recreational facilities. Full results of the survey will be revealed next month.

If you haven’t already taken part, it’s not too late. The Project Construct team has added a comment box to the survey to gather more feedback or you can email newrecclub@gmail.com if you want to get involved. 

The survey takes less than two minutes to complete. Click on this link to take part.