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HomeRUGBYWasps update on stadium plans as 85% of the public disagree

Wasps update on stadium plans as 85% of the public disagree

Wasps Rugby Club released an update on their proposals to move the club to Kent on Monday 26th February, however everything may not be as rosy as they make out.

In their recent statement, the club said: “We can now inform you that we have secured the core sustainable finance and a temporary stadium location in the Greater London/Kent area, aligning with our strategic plans to eventually relocate to Kent. All we are waiting for is a competition to join that will allow us to compete at the highest level – and one that shares our values.”

It is understood that the club have agreed a stadium rental elsewhere within the Greater London/Kent area, as they work through the planning for their new proposed stadium outside of Swanley.

Sevenoaks District Council is in the middle of preparing its next Local Plan, which will direct where development will go between now and the year 2040, and Wasps had asked the Council to include an allocation for a 28,000-seat stadium at one of two locations near Swanley, either Pedham Place Golf Club, or nearby Petham Court Farm.

However, as part of the Local Plan, the District Council asked the public for their responses and under the option marked MX15 – Pedlam Place the responses were quite damning for the proposed build. Of the 1,379 people who responded, 1,181 either Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed with the plans. 188 Agreed or Strongly Agreed, whilst 10 remained Neutral.

This means a whopping 85.7% of the public do not want the club or the District Council to allow plans for a new stadium on this site. A breakdown of the provisional responses were as follows:

  • Strongly agree: 148 or 10.7%
  • Agree: 40 or 2.9%
  • Neutral: 10 or 0.7% 
  • Disagree: 43 or 3.2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1,138 or 82.5%

Sevenoaks District Council said on their website: “We received a large volume of responses within the last few days of the consultation, and the Planning Policy team are currently working to publish all responses. 

“The Planning Policy team will now analyse all responses and work towards the preparation of the Regulation 19 Plan, which will be consulted on in Summer 2024. 

“A summary report will also be presented to the Council’s Development and Conservation Advisory Committee on March 24, 2024.”

Wasps continues its substantial efforts to return the men’s and women’s teams to the highest level possible of performance rugby. In October 2023 they outlined the three pillars that define their intent and their direction of travel. They are:

A competition entity: One that is fit for purpose and reflects the values that Wasps and others adhere to.

Sustainable finance: The cornerstone of their recovery relies on sustainable finance and a robust business plan that avoids a single point of failure.

A stadium in which to play: They have made substantial progress in the establishment of a suitable ground in which to play as they progress the planning for their new stadium.

*This article will be updated as and when new information is released by both Sevenoaks District Council and Wasps Rugby Club.

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