A PLAN to allow temporary storage of caravans at Lymm Rugby Club to enable the club to remain solvent during the Covid-19 crisis is to be put to Warrington planning chiefs.
But the proposal – which would allow up to 75 caravans to be stored on land at the club’s Crouchley Lane ground for 18 months – is being opposed by Lymm Parish Council and by two nearby residents.
It will be considered by the borough’s development management committee on Wednesday.
The club already has planning consent for a major development on the site, including building a new clubhouse, conversion of the existing clubhouse into four dwellings and construction of 10 new houses.
But with all activity at the club suspended since March, it is estimated the pandemic will cost the club about £60,000 in the current financial year – with a forecast of a loss of £25,000 in the coming year.
It is believed caravan storage could bring in about £24,000, enabling the club to either break even or make a loss of £1,000 and remain solvent.
The caravans would be stored on the same site as the existing re-development proposals which currently cannot continue because of the club’s financial position. However the club has every intention of continuing with this scheme as soon as possible.
A report to the committee says the financial failure of the club in its current form would end a 60-year association with Lymm which is highly valued locally, provides a vibrant social life and high quality rugby union. There would be no certainty that any successor organisation would emerge.
This would also jeopardise the already approved re-development scheme.
Officers are recommending the scheme be approved.
But the parish council is concerned that the movement of caravans would cause road safety issues in Crouchley Lane.
Residents are similarly concerned but also fear increased anti-social behaviour, noise and loss of amenity.
They say: “This is a residential area, not an industrial estate.”
A number of caravans have already been stored at the ground, under existing permitted development rights, but these have no expired so continued storage of the vehicles would be a breach of planning control.