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Maidenhead United want solution to stadium move that 'works for everybody'

Maidenhead United are fully aware of the concerns raised by Maidenhead RFC in relation to the club’s proposed move to Braywick Park.

The club’s CEO Jon Adams is still very hopeful and confident they can overcome the various obstacles and planning hurdles to move into a new stadium on the site in two seasons time.

And he also believes they can come up with a solution that works for all the stakeholders on the site and increases the level of sporting provision in the area instead of reducing.

Steve Bough, Maidenhead RFC’s chairman, has seen the feasibility studies for the project and fears the development will take away much needed training space for around 150 colts players. He says it’s planning policy for any pitches that are taken away by the development to be replaced with like-for-like or better on the site and he doesn’t see how that can be achieved at Braywick Park. In principle, as they’ve not yet viewed the planning documents, he says the club also has support on the matter from the RFU and Sport England.

“We are aware that the rugby club has some concerns,” said Adams this week. “We’ve met with them a couple of times to share our plans. They rightly took some time to take advice from the RFU in relation to the proposals and how they should respond to them, and it’s understandable that the RFU have said that they should object to them.

“We’re expecting to receive feedback in that regard from Maidenhead RFC, but I think it would be wrong to say Sport England are objecting to the proposals. We have shared our proposals with Sport England and we’ve shared them with the FA, and certainly the FA are very supportive of what we’re looking to do. It fits well within the pitch playing and community strategy for the sport.

“We’ve made a commitment to the rugby club that they wouldn’t have a loss of amenity in a way that would mean they couldn’t support their existing provision, and we’re very clear that we will be making an offer that will enable the rugby to continue to be played up there.”

Adams admits the stadium move is a sensitive development that is likely to be met by opposition, but they hope to create a planning proposal that will be acceptable to all parties. He expects the club will be able to make further announcements on how the project is progressing in the coming months

“We want to work in partnership with the rugby club to come up with a solution that works for them as well,” he said. “But the truth is that Braywick is a very sensible location as the identified community sports hub for the town, and for the long-term future for the location of the football club.

“Our ambition is to deliver a stadium with facilities that increases the level of sporting provision both for football and other sports in the borough, not reduce it, and I’m very confident our proposals will do that. We’ll do everything we can to come up with a solution that meets everybody’s needs.

“It’s not an easy thing to do. We’ve tired hard to work with people. Maidenhead Athletics Club (MAC) for example have been very directly impacted because we’re looking to move their athletics track. But we want to come up with a solution that adds value for the community sport in the town, it’s not just about Maidenhead United FC. and that’s our objective. I’m very pleased that all parties have so far shown enthusiasm in wanting to engage with us, it’s not been barriers up straight away and our intention is to come up with a solution which works for everyone, but that will require some movement on all sides because it will require a change in how the spaces are used. There is certainly enough space to accommodate the football club and accommodate the needs of the other clubs at Braywick and we will continue to work with them to ensure that happens.”

“There’s been quite a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” added Adams. “We’re trying to set some relatively ambitious timescales and targets. There are a few steps that will need to happen over the next months to six weeks with potentially some future announcements being made in a couple of months’ time. We’re moving forward quite closely with the timescales that that we’ve been speaking about. If we can make it work, we’d love to be in the new ground in two season’s time.

“There will be a point in the future where we need to do much wide, formal, consultation on the revised plans for the project. Our starting point will be the users of Braywick, the rugby club, athletics club, SportsAble, but on top of that we’ll be undertaking quite a wide public consultation as well. We want to engage with the community as much as we can.”

Maidenhead United are fully aware of the concerns raised by Maidenhead RFC in relation to the club’s proposed move to Braywick Park.

The club’s CEO Jon Adams is still very hopeful and confident they can overcome the various obstacles and planning hurdles to move into a new stadium on the site in two seasons time.

And he also believes they can come up with a solution that works for all the stakeholders on the site and increases the level of sporting provision in the area instead of reducing it.

Steve Bough, Maidenhead RFC’s chairman, has seen the feasibility studies for the project and fears the development will take away much needed training space for around 150 colts players. He says it’s planning policy for any pitches that are taken away by the development to be replaced with like-for-like or better on the site, and he doesn’t see how that can be achieved at Braywick Park. In principle, as they’ve not yet viewed the planning documents, he says the club also has support on the matter from the RFU and Sport England.

“We are aware that the rugby club has some concerns,” said Adams this week. “We’ve met with them a couple of times to share our plans. They rightly took some time to take advice from the RFU in relation to the proposals and how they should respond to them, and it’s understandable that the RFU have said that they should object to them.

“We’re expecting to receive feedback in that regard from Maidenhead RFC, but I think it would be wrong to say Sport England are objecting to the proposals. We have shared our proposals with Sport England and we’ve shared them with the FA, and certainly the FA are very supportive of what we’re looking to do.

“It fits well within the pitch playing and community strategy for the sport.

“We’ve made a commitment to the rugby club that they wouldn’t have a loss of amenity in a way that would mean they couldn’t support their existing provision, and we’re very clear that we will be making an offer that will enable the rugby to continue to be played up there.”

Adams admits the stadium move is a sensitive development that is likely to be met by opposition, but they hope to create a planning proposal that will be acceptable to all parties. He expects the club will be able to make further announcements on how the project is progressing in the coming months

“We want to work in partnership with the rugby club to come up with a solution that works for them as well,” he said. “But the truth is that Braywick is a very sensible location as the identified community sports hub for the town, and for the long-term future for the location of the football club.

“Our ambition is to deliver a stadium with facilities that increases the level of sporting provision both for football and other sports in the borough, not reduce it, and I’m very confident our proposals will do that. We’ll do everything we can to come up with a solution that meets everybody’s needs.

“It’s not an easy thing to do. We’ve tired hard to work with people. Maidenhead Athletics Club (MAC) for example have been very directly impacted because we’re looking to move their athletics track.

“But we want to come up with a solution that adds value for the community sport in the town, it’s not just about Maidenhead United FC.”

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