Key decisions take this week could lead to a new home for Wellington Football club on the edge of town and extra pitches for cricket and rugby. Both Taunton Deane and the town councils voted to adopt the key proposals of a new Playing Pitch Strategy.
Because of the current shortage of sports pitches the cricket and football teams have to share a ground, causing problems when the seasons overlap in August and early September. The nearby rugby club only has two pitches when they desperately need a third.
If the footballers moved out then the cricketers could take over the current shared pitch and the Rec, adjoining the park, could become available to the rugby club on a permanent basis.
“It’s the most ambitious of the various options but there is a fair wind behind it,” said Cllr Andy Govier who spoke in favour of the scheme at both council meetings. “Since the football club moved up a division they’ve seen the far better facilities that many other clubs have, especially in terms of a level pitch and fencing to prevent dog fouling.”
Taunton district council has S.106 money from housing developers that could be used to purchase the land for a new pitch complex. Other grant funds would need to be raised from bodies such as Sport England and the Football Association.
The Wellington and District Sports Federation are fully behind the plans and will hold key meetings to fine-tune them next month. The town council has allocated a total of £10,000 as a contribution to ongoing work by specialist consultant Stuart Todd to create more detailed proposals that could support grant applications.
“Personally I’d like to see this happen within the next five years and I think that is perfectly possible given the level of agreement that is emerging about the way forward,” said Cllr Govier.