'Ambitious plans to grow and improve' Warwick Boat Club revealed

Plans that would see Warwick Boat Club 'grow and improve' have been revealed.

Friday, 1st November 2019, 5:45 am

Warwick Boat Club, which is home to tennis, squash, rowing and bowls, is surrounded by Banbury Road, the River Avon and properties Mill Street.

The site is within the Warwick Conservation Area, being visible from Warwick Castle.

Around three years ago, club members were asked what improvements they would like to see and how they would like to see the club develop.

An aerial shot of Warwick Boat Club. Photo supplied by Warwick Boat Club
An aerial shot of Warwick Boat Club. Photo supplied by Warwick Boat Club

Now going forward a masterplan has been created. It includes:

~ Building a new clubhouse by demolishing squash court two and a small section of the existing clubhouse and replace with a two storey extension. This would also include improved changing facilities, social space, storage space and a small gym for members.

~ An extra tennis court, making 12 on the site, with floodlighting for the new court and court 11

~ Demolishing and replacing boathouse sheds

Warwick Boat Club. Photo supplied by Warwick Boat Club.

~ Two new squash courts

~ Replacing the existing four rink bowls green with a new six rink synthetic bowls green with floodlights.

According to the planning documents, if the application is approved and if funding has been secured, the works could take place during Autumn/Winter 2020/21.

Mike Rigby, club captain at Warwick Boat Club, said: "For each of our sections, we have ambitions to help them grow and improve.

The proposed masterplan.

"When you look at Warwick District Council's local plan for housing and the populations of Warwick and Leamington, there is likely to be an increasing demand for sport and leisure and this plan is a way to positively respond to that."

The club's masterplan has received some objections highlighting concerns about parking, over-development and the impact of the neighbouring area.

Addressing some of the objections, Mike said: "Most objects are about parking but we are not planning on having any more parking spaces than we already have at the club.

"There is the suggestion that boat club members park in residential streets such as in Mill Street and Bridge End but we always ask members to be mindful of residents and to use St Nicholas Park or the Myton Fields car parks.

"Other objections highlight the impact of flood lights on wildlife but the current ones on the tennis courts are highly directional. Our proposals are to have the most sophisticated flood lights as possible. We are asking for flood lights for the bowling green for year-round bowls and these would be directional.

"We are always looking to improve our wildlife area. We are part of the ribbon of round around the river and Warwick Caste Park and we are looking at doing more such as bird boxes and otter holes. I think we are being responsive to the demands of the site and the environment and not having an impact on the neighbours.

"We in the club are very excited by the opportunity to produce an excellent sports centre for the town of Warwick and Warwickshire.

"Warwick Boat Club was started in 1861. The whole history of the club is one of evolution. It started as a rowing club and then went on to be mainly tennis, then bowls then squash and then rowing restarted about 30 years ago.

"There is a representation of us being an 'elitist club' and we are very keen to remove all those connotations as the future s young people. We work with schools to try and encourage youngsters to come and platy our sports and we also host family events such as fun days."

To view the plans go to Warwick District Council's planning portal and search: W/19/1526