Bristol City Council, working with St Bernadette’s RFC, has secured planning approval for the new rugby club facilities at Fulford Road. The planning application was submitted late last year, following a public consultation held in November 2019.
The new rugby facilities will include a modern clubhouse, two rugby pitches, training area, landscaping and supporting infrastructure.
With the current 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 worked together to find a suitable new home.
Eddie Quirke, Chairman of St Bernadette’s RFC, said: “We are looking forward to next stage of the development of the club moving to Hartcliffe. This is a huge change for us and I am sure the local community will embrace it and take part in what we can offer, both on and off the pitch. We are really looking forward to the future and what new opportunities this brings for us all.”
The club already 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 community, encouraging more local members to join and hosting more activities for people of all ages.
Work is now expected to start onsite early in 2021, with the new premises available for St Bernadette’s the following year.
Cllr Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, at Bristol City Council, said: “I am pleased to see that we have taken a major step towards providing a new home for St Bernadette’s. It was important to us that we did not lose an important sporting facility as a result of building much needed housing in the area. We are committed to making sure that community facilities are prioritised alongside delivering new homes and regeneration.”
The Fulford Road site in Hartcliffe was formerly Whitehouse Primary School (1972-2002) and then a pupil referral unit until 2011. The development of the new Rugby Club clubrooms and pitches will bring the derelict site back into use.
A summary of the public consultation that was held last year can be found here: https://bristol.citizenspace.com/development-of-place/consultation-on-proposed-design-for-st-bernadette/
If you are interested in joining St Bernadette’s, please visit: www.pitchero.com/clubs/stbernadettesoldboys/contact or call 01275 891500.