Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club could be set for new home

The flooded cricket ground and pavilion at Budleigh Salterton. Picture: Simon Horn

The flooded cricket ground and pavilion at Budleigh Salterton. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Flood woes could be a thing of the past for Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club after it was revealed it could move to land near East Budleigh

The club, which frequently deals with the aftermath of flooding when the nearby River Otter breaches its banks, could be re-sited thanks to landowners Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) as part of the Lower Otter Restoration Project’s (LORP) aim to preserve and improve the downstream part of the river.

The proposed scheme would breach the embankments of the River Otter in several places to allow it to reconnect to its original flood plains - one of which is home to the cricket club’s Otter Reach ground - as a way of reducing pressure on 200-year old sea defences.

In a project update for members of the cricket club seen by the Budleigh Journal, LORP says CDE is in the process of submitting a planning application to East Devon District Council, having identified a site off the B3178 East Budleigh Road as a potential new home ground.

Cricket club chairman Greg Evans told the Journal there will be consultation on any designs for the new ground before an application is submitted.

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“Our position remains that we are supportive of the move which would give us, if it were to happen, the advantage of being in a ground where we did not have the flooding problems we currently have. It would also give us a club house we can open all year round,” he said.

One of the aims of the LORP is to work with the club to find a ‘more sustainable’ site for its ground and it is hoped work can start on a new playing surface in late summer next year, ahead of the club moving in at the start of the 2022 season. Funding for the re-siting of the cricket club depends on the project going ahead but CDE and the Environment Agency warned there is still a long way to go before the project can begin.

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A spokesperson for the Lower Otter Restoration Project said: “This still depends on the outcome of technical studies, funding and planning applications. We recognise that quality sporting facilities can take a long time to prepare and we want to ensure that an alternative playing surface and associated facilities are available to ensure a smooth transition.”

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