Many members, the Board included, were very surprised to see an article in the press outlining “Plans to build 166 houses at Cobham Rugby Club” and some of you, understandably, will have been concerned. Do not be.
You will be aware that Elmbridge Borough Council is in the process of redrafting the Local Plan. As part of this exercise Elmbridge have to identify as much land as possible which could, in theory, have potential for housing in order to satisfy Central Government targets. Elmbridge have proposed five alternative options within the Borough, each containing many different sites with each option being offered for public consultation. The Memorial Ground is just one of many sites identified as a site theoretically having potential for residential development and included in this exercise.
To be clear, this does not mean that development will take place or that planning will be granted even if the Memorial Ground is included in the Local Plan and it certainly does not mean that 166 houses are about to be built (we don’t know where that figure came from). Even if it did, it could only ever be if an alternative site could be found for the club in Cobham on which it could provide equal or better facilities for both the club and community.
Whilst the Board supports the Borough Council in its desire to provide for the housing needs for all residents of the Borough, the Boards primary role is to promote sport and social activity in and around Cobham through the club and every decision it takes will always put the best interests of the club and those that use it first.
NB: Further information about Elmbridge Borough Council's plans can be found in the links below: