UPDATED: Give your views on new rugby club plans: Aerial View Visualisation - St Bernadette's RFC

28 Oct 2019

Housing and Planning

UPDATED: Give your views on new rugby club plans

Designs showing how a new south Bristol rugby club could look have been unveiled for public consultation.

St Bernadette’s Old Boys Rugby and Football Club (RFC) is relocating from Hengrove Park to a new home on Fulford Road in Hartcliffe.

A consultation on how the club could look opens on Wednesday 6 November. A public drop-in event in Morrisons foyer on Peterson Avenue (BS13 0BE) will be held on 6 November, 10am to 5pm, where the public can meet the team including representatives from the council, Kier, Inspire Architects and St Bernadette’s.

Copies of the design proposals and feedback slips will be in the foyer of @Symes community building (Hartcliffe Library) until Wednesday 20 November when the consultation closes. The proposals can also be viewed on the council’s Consultation Hub.

Bristol City Council is working with the club on the move and in September appointed Kier (Regional) and Inspire Architects to design new rugby facilities, which include a new, modern clubhouse, high-quality rugby pitches and flood lighting.

With St Bernadette’s clubhouse reaching the end of its life and outline planning permission granted for a major housing regeneration scheme at Hengrove Park, the council and club have collaborated on finding a suitable new home.

Cllr Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, at Bristol City Council, said:

“This is great news for the rugby club and the people of Hartcliffe. As we build more housing it’s important we consider a range of ways to improve the facilities for our communities. We have the opportunity to substantially enhance sport provision in this part of the city while accommodating space for new homes in Hengrove Park. The move for St Bernadette’s comes with substantial upgrades to their existing facilities, which will radically improve the training and match environment for its members.”

The club works with the Hartcliffe and Withywood Community Partnership to run rugby training events for local young people. Relocating to Hartcliffe, the club aims to become part of the Hartcliffe community through more local members joining and hosting more activities.

Eddie Quirke, Chairman of St Bernadette’s Old Boys RFC, said: “St Bernadette’s RFC are proud to be working with Bristol City Council to secure a new location for the club. We have had many good times on and off the rugby field, but it’s time to start a new chapter that will take the club forward for the next 50 years.

“The new facilities will enable St Bernadette’s RFC to grow in the local community and offer a fit for purpose, up-to-date club, which will offer the rugby values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to new, younger and existing players locally.

“The benefit to the local community from a cohesion and isolation point of view is second to none, as it offers opportunities for non-members to spectate and support their local rugby club.”

Following the consultation, the design will be revised and submitted for planning permission this winter. Subject to approvals, construction would then start in early summer 2020, with the club’s new facilities ready during 2021.

The Fulford Road site in Hartcliffe was formerly Whitehouse Primary School (1972-2002) and then a pupil referral unit until 2011. It has since been derelict.

The new clubhouse is set to include an information board about the site’s history and former pupils are invited to respond to this consultation to help develop the display.

If you are interested in joining St Bernadette’s, please visit: www.pitchero.com/clubs/stbernadettesoldboys/contact or call 01275 891500.