How the proposed Canterbury City FC ground will look

Get behind new sports complex proposal, urges rugby club

Canterbury Rugby Football Club is urging supporters to get behind the plan for a new multi-purpose sports complex in Bridge.

Last week the Canterbury Journal revealed that the plan, which includes a new home for Canterbury City FC alongside the existing St Lawrence and Highland Court Cricket Club, was once again being talked about as a serious proposal.

Also contained in the plan drawn up by developer Quinn Estates are various other facilities including business space plus a 175-unit holiday home development.

But the proposal has attracted opposition from people concerned about is scale and the effect it would have on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) around it.

Supporters of the club, however, are making their voices heard.

Peter Broughton said: “Canterbury Rugby Club is a genuine community asset and encourages young people to become responsible citizens.

“The club will soon need a new home and Highland Court would be ideal both for the club and the surrounding environment.”

Ed Vant went on: “It is rare that an application offers so many positive opportunities for a city and its community.

“It is an undeniable fact that the addition of a high class sports facility to the city’s amenities gives a massive boost to the physical and mental health needs of its citizens.”

And Byron McGinley added: “A development like this will bring more jobs to the area and keep a sports club in the heart of the city.”

If approved by city council planners, Canterbury RFC would move from their home at the Marine Travel Ground in Merton Lane off Nackington Road and relocate to Highland Court.

And it would provide a Canterbury City FC with a new home after the loss and redevelopment as homes of the Kingsmead Stadium in 1999.

Ida Linfield, the Liberal Democrat Kent county councillor for Canterbury City South, is among those opposing the sports complex proposal.

She said: “This site isn’t in the local plan. The extra cars will seriously clog up an already overloaded road network.

“It’s an AONB for heavens sake – doesn’t that mean anything anymore? Canterbury City FC needs and deserves a proper club as it was royally shafted by the council when it took back the old Kingsmead site.

“But somewhere suitable please. I don’t think that this is suitable at all – not in any way.”

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