The Bicester Sports Association's (BSA) planning application to redevelop the Chesterton Sports Ground was refused by Cherwell District Council's (CDC) Planning Committee on Thursday 18th June. The BSA indicated that it would not seek to appeal the decision.
The Club Board had scenario-planned for this outcome.
The planned redevelopment of the Chesterton Sports Ground would have satisfied our objective of securing a single-site which provides for rugby at all levels of the Club. However, it has not been possible to secure from the BSA the assurances we need regarding security of tenure, use of all facilities to create income, and thereby our ability to ensure we have a viable permanent home. The RFU, Sport England and indeed the Cherwell District Council Playing Pitch Strategy all support this view.
The Club Board remains committed to securing a permanent home for Bicester Rugby Club. We are continuing to work with the BSA, CDC, Bicester Town Council, the RFU, and Sport England toward this aim.
According to the BSA, Value Retail’s position has always been that we need to vacate Oxford Road by May 2021. However, in the light of this development we will look to engage with Value Retail to see what discussion may be had. And we are in ongoing discussions with the Trustees of the BSA to gain clarity over our continued use of their facilities. We do not, as yet, anticipate any changes to our use of Chesterton for 2020/21.
When we have any further information we will look to update you with it. And in the meantime, we would like to reassure all the players and supporters that we will find a successful way forward.