Orrell’s new home plan has an extra hurdle to clear

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Orrell Rugby Union’s plans to share a new home with Winstanley Park Cricket Club have an extra hurdle to overcome.

A verdict on the proposal was expected earlier this month, as the initial plan was listed as delegated – meaning council officers could decide.

But after consulting residents, the plans have now been passed onto the planning committee – who will discuss the issue and rule whether to give it the green-light or not.

A council spokesman said the issue may be on the agenda at the next monthly meeting, scheduled for February 14.

The proposed new facility includes two rugby pitches, a cricket pitch, a sports pavilion and 100-space car park on the 13-acre farmland next to Winstanley College.

If the application is successful, it will end Orrell’s decade-long hunt for a permanent new home since they left Edge Hall Road. Club chairman Tony Havlin has previously said he was ‘excited’ about the prospect.

The club secured the 99-year lease on the farmland, and in partnership with Winstanley Park, have drawn up plans to create a “sports centre that will also be open to the local community for a variety of other activities”.

The Black and Ambers have been playing out of St John Rigby College in recent years. Winstanley Park were also looking for a new base after their landlords asked the cricket club to consider relocating.

Wigan architects NPS has drawn up plans and drawings of a proposed new pavilion/clubhouse, which is scheduled to be built in two phases.

Orrell – one of the country’s top rugby union club sides 25 years ago – currently have two open-age teams, a touch rugby side and a junior section.

Winstanley Park run two adult sides and four junior teams. Between them the clubs already boast 450 members.