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London Irish plans rejected

Spelthorne Council in west London has rejected plans by London Irish Rugby Club to create a new sporting centre of excellence in Sunbury.

The application was in two parts, the first to demolish the clubhouse, driving range and other structures at the Hazelwood Golf Club site in Sunbury in order to create five adult and 12 junior rugby pitches, plus a clubhouse for London Irish. The second was to demolish the existing London Irish stand and clubhouse in The Avenue, Sunbury and use the land for the development of a mix of 194 houses and flats, a 60-bedroom care home, a health centre and a neighbourhood park.

Heather Morgan, head of planning and housing strategy at the council, said: "The Planning Committee was not persuaded that the applications stack up in planning terms - both in local and national policy terms. "It also felt that the proposal at The Avenue site would not fit in with the spacious character of the surrounding area, adversely affecting the 'village' feel of Lower Sunbury."

Following the decision, London Irish chief executive Andy Martin said: "The outcome of the Planning Committee meeting was disappointing. "We submitted a viable and deliverable scheme which would bring huge benefits to Sunbury and Spelthorne. No value has been placed on the importance of sport for Spelthorne and its residents and the chance has been missed to replace a failed golf club with a top sporting facility which the local community can enjoy."

He added: "London Irish will be appealing; we want Sunbury to remain our home."

Spelthorne Council in west London has rejected plans by London Irish Rugby Club to create a new sporting centre of excellence in Sunbury. The application was in two parts, the first to demolish the clubhouse, driving range and other structures at the Hazelwood Golf Club site in Sunbury in order to create five adult and 12 junior rugby pitches, plus a clubhouse for London Irish. The second was to demolish
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Les Mills International
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