Flood-threatened cricket club's plans for new home approved
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:21 10 January 2020
Budleigh Cricket Club's move away from its flood-threatened home is a step closer after plans were green-lit.
An application to build a new ground at land north of South Farm Cottages has been approved by East Devon District Council planning officers under delegated powers.
Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club is now set for a move away from Ottermouth, which has been beset by flooding over the years.
Reacting to the news, club chairman Greg Evans said: "We are delighted especially in view of the pavilion being flooded again in recent weeks.
"This is a timely reminder of how important relocating is to the long term sustainability of the club."
Mr Evans said it was 'too early' to say when construction may begin or when they hope to move in.
The new ground will offer a new pavilion, two new pitches and a new access and parking facilities.
The delegated officer's report said: "This proposal seeks to relocate an existing cricket club, which while situated in an excellent location in terms of the town of Budleigh Salterton, has been rendered unusable by its situation within the flood zone.
"Visually, the buildings would have a minimal impact on the landscape, and it is considered that due to the distance to nearby dwellings the use of the pavilion and cricket fields would not have an impact on residential amenity."
The relocation of the ground was earmarked by the Lower Otter Restoration Project (LORP) as a key hurdle to overcome in attempting to realign the estuary.
Dr Sam Bridgewater, from the LORP, said: "The long-term future of the cricket club's current home at Ottermouth is under threat from the impacts of flooding and poor drainage.
"The Lower Otter Restoration Project is working to explore how we can best manage and improve the downstream part of the River Otter, its estuary and its immediate surroundings in the face of continuing climate change and rising sea levels.
"The approval means that, should the wider restoration project go ahead as planned, an important sporting, recreational and social focal point for the community will not be lost to climate change.
"We hope to be able to share our latest plans with the public later this year."