Cricket club’s looking towards the boundary
Published on: 30 Jan 2014
ANY alternative site for Downend Cricket Club will be on the outskirts of Downend as there is no suitable land centrally, the club has confirmed.
Developers have drawn up proposals for a new pavilion with two pitches but not yet for a specific site.
A club spokesman said that the approximate value of the club's current four-acre site and facilities had been estimated, but “there is nothing official as the process is not at that stage yet.”
Opinion is divided as to whether the club should move from the WG Grace Memorial Ground, which is in the middle of Downend, between Downend Road and North Street, close to the birthplace of one of cricket's greatest players.
Members at the annual meeting in November voted 29-15 to take relocation plans to the next stage, thus authorising the committee to work formally with developers.
The club has pledged that a final decision on whether to move will be made by a members' vote.
The club spokesman told Downend Voice the developers had drawn up detailed proposals that included all the facilities requested by members, including two pitches, and improved social areas for members and for potential venue hire.
“The committee will scrutinise this specification with its lawyers to come to a final version. While this is happening, the developer will investigate sites further. These will be around the boundary of Downend as no suitable sites were available within Downend.
“At a future date when the site and spec have been clarified, there will be a members' vote.”
Cricket enthusiasts say relocation is necessary to ensure development of the sport. It would be able to run more youth teams and start girls' and women's teams as well as attract grants.
Opponents say the club should not abandon its heritage by leaving the ground where it has played since 1920.
Downend Cricket Club has 120 adult members and 70 juniors. It runs three senior teams, a Sunday team and six junior teams.