CONTRARY to the Birmingham and Solihull Rugby Club’s impression (Letters), many residents value the future of the rugby club with national league status; but not at any ‘cost’.
The Planning Committee supported the move of the rugby club to Damson Park, but also was very wise in its unanimous decision to reject the club’s application for housing on the Sharmans Cross Road ground. As they stated, the Rugby Club business plan was totally flawed.
Even based on the club’s over-optimistic land valuation and income projections, together with the requirement for affordable housing, the sums just don’t add up. Given the club was issued with a winding-up order from the Inland Revenue, is it so hard to believe the Planning Committee made an error of judgement? Around £100,000 is owed to the Inland Revenue, players’ wages for July and back pay (from January to April 09) not yet paid out etc.
The rugby club is a private members club. Any business arrangement has to be done by private venture funding and they should not look to Solihull council tax payers to foot a large part of their costs.
The Rugby Club/Oakmoor Developments conveniently forget that a) the lease from SMBC states to the club that the land in question is subject to a covenant which restricts its use only for the purpose of a private sports ground and b) that in 1965 an agreement was reached with Solihull Planning Authority to restrict the 1.2 acres of land owned by the club for purposes ancillary to a sports ground (that presently owned by SMBC).
St Alphege Ward residents, Solihull.