Key Rams plan faces crunch vote at council

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Fans and the chairman of Dewsbury Rams have urged councillors to approve a development masterplan which could secure the club’s long-term future.

The rugby league club and developers Stirling Scotfield have drawn up a plan to redevelop land next to the stadium at Owl Lane.

Officers are recommending councillors approve the masterplan at Kirklees Council’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Rams chairman Mark Sawyer said: “It’s great news. We’ve been looking for some kind of development for 15 years.

“Hopefully we’ve done a good enough consultation process to come to a proposal which will be accepted by the majority.”

Dewsbury Rams Development Supporters Group member Chris Battye said: “My message to the councillors would be a definite yes.

“It would be tremendous not just for the club but for Dewsbury and in particular the Shawcross community.”

A report to Cabinet outlines the proposed development, which would include a replacement practice pitch, two multi-use games areas, a park and green corridor, public space, footpaths and a cycleway, car parking to serve the rugby club and community facilities and a residential development of 234 homes.

The masterplan has to be approved by the council – as landlord – before a planning application can be submitted.

The report concludes: “There is a prospect of planning permission being granted for the development proposed.”

Mr Sawyer had previously said the development would allow the club to increase its work in the community.

The report proposes that a charitable trust fund, the Dewsbury Rams Development Fund, is set up to administer money raised from the development.