Posted on: Thursday 10 January 2019
A consultation on the future management of the rugby ground within Pontypool Park is now open.
Pontypool Park is an important environmental, leisure and cultural venue within the town and the council wants your views on proposals for the rugby ground within the park.
The Park is owned by the council and the council covenanted that it would hold the Park ‘for the use of the public’. It is proposed that this legal requirement be slightly amended to give flexibility on how the area of the rugby ground is managed moving forward.
The proposals would enable the council to work in partnership with Pontypool Rugby Limited and would give the club exclusive possession of the grounds. This will allow the club to have greater influence over the rugby pitch and stand to help resolve vandalism issues. However the rest of Pontypool Park will still be subject to the covenant and managed accordingly for everyone’s use and enjoyment.
The consultation is being undertaken in accordance with the Playing Fields Regulations 2015, which is an important legal process prior to the Council making a decision to grant a lease to Pontypool Rugby Limited. A lease gives the club security for the future, allowing it to invest and improve the rugby ground’s facilities.
This consultation is on the specific matter of the management of the Park and the rugby grounds. The council understands that Pontypool Rugby Limited will shortly submit a planning application for improvements to the grounds and these will be subject to consultation and legal processes which are entirely separate from this Playing Fields consultation.
Torfaen Council leader, Anthony Hunt said: ‘I am really pleased with the progress that has been made since our council meeting in July. We have worked closely together with Pontypool RFC to devise solutions to quite complex legal issues and the start of consultation today shows our shared desire for the club to stay in Pontypool Park.
‘The public response only reaffirmed the pride and passion the people of Pontypool have for their club. As leader of the Council, I’m always keen that we listen to our residents and wherever possible find solutions to problems. The decision to remain in the park can give a historic club such as Pontypool RFC the very best chances of success for the future and is good news for the town.’
The consultation period is open for six weeks and will close at 5pm on 22nd February 2019. To view documents and provide comments visit https://getinvolved.torfaen.gov.uk/neighbourhoods/rugbygroundpontypoolparkplayingfield/