Old Laurentians RFC move leads to fears of more homes

The site.
The site.

Concerns have been raised for the future of Fenley Field after Old Laurentians RFC announced plans to relocate to Bilton Grange.

The move would see the rugby ground off Lime Tree Avenue acquired by Bellway homes – which is already working on a 450-homes site nearby.

Bilton councillor Chris Cade said: “While we respect the right of the OLs to maximise their assets as they choose – Bilton councillors are concerned at yet another plan for development on the edge of the ward.

“Our job is to stand up for residents who are worried about the potential loss of even more green space and the traffic impacts from yet more speculative development that has resulted from the Local Plan.”

A spokesperson for residents’ campaign group Friends of Lime Tree Avenue Association (FoLTAA) said: “FoLTAA is naturally sorry to hear that our historical and excellent neighbours, The Old Laurentians RFC, are very probably moving.

“We, as they, had always hoped that a way could be found for them to stay, build the already approved new club house and expand their playing facilities by incorporating some of the surrounding land.

“The apparent greed of local landowners and WCC’s shortsighted land asset sell-off strategy, look to finally have prevented this happening.

“Locally this raises the issue of a further expansion of Bellway’s existing 450-houses site, with a possible further 300 houses.

“Access is likely to be via adjoining land to link the two sites and a major concern is what will be proposed for the existing narrow entrance and unadopted junction with Lime Tree Avenue.

“Issues of safety, traffic and pollution, if it is used for this site and possibly the adjoining one, are enormous. The loss of further green space for Bilton village, Cawston, Dunchurch and their human, animal and bird inhabitants will be tragic.”