Council submit application for 3G pitch at Rugby Avenue

COLERAINE Borough Council has taken the first steps in creating a regional sports facility at Rugby Avenue by submitting plans for a 3G football pitch and astro surface hockey pitch.

Council have been hoping to develop the area at Rugby Avenue for a number of years now. At present there five grass pitches and an all-weather surface, but the plan is to create a sporting hub which would include a new stadium and pitch and with several other playing surfaces.

This current application is seen as the first stage in this redevelopment.

Times Sport understands the council is currently in discussion with Coleraine Rugby Club, who own the land opposite Sandelford School on the entrance to Rugby Avenue pitches where the new pitches are to be built.

At present there are no 3G pitches available within the borough, however it was revealed this week that the University of Ulster are hoping to have a 3G pitch installed at their Coleraine Campus as soon as this summer.

Times Sport contacted Coleraine Council with regards to the time frame of their own project. However they were unable to set a time scale on the project as they are hoping to secure capital funding for the project.

A spokesperson said: “Coleraine Borough Council aims to develop the Rugby Avenue site as a future regional facility incorporating a leisure centre and various outdoor facilities that satisfies the needs of the local ratepayers and also visitors to the North Coast.

“It is anticipated that the first phase of the development will incorporate two outdoor facilities that currently do not or will not exist in the Borough; a 3G facility applicable for various sports and an astro turf facility primarily for hockey.

“The planning application was submitted on 15th February 2013 to enable Council to avail of future grant funding that may become available prior to the progression of the remainder of the scheme.

“On the basis that capital funding is yet to be confirmed, time frames are also unconfirmed.”