A COMMUNITY rugby league club's plans for a revamp of its facilities have been granted permission.

Portico Vine ARLFC on Scholes Lane, Portico, submitted plans as they aim to build a new extension to its “rundown” clubhouse.

The plans also included the addition of more than 40 onsite parking bays, a new floodlight system, and additional access on to Scholes Lane.

A new indoor corridor will link the main building and the new extension together, to combat the potential for anti-social behaviour.

Plans to enhance Portico Vines facilities have been approved

Plans to enhance Portico Vine's facilities have been approved

Mark Hobin, club chairman, said it has been the “dream” of many Portico Vine volunteers to see its young players have access to better facilities.

“We had 153 kids registered last year, with in excess of 50 key volunteers – coaches, assistants and committee staff.

“That’s the most the club has ever registered in any season in the past.

“All they’ve ever asked for is better facilities because they were so rundown – we had kids stood outside freezing after finishing games in winter, it was heart-breaking,” he continued.

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The club says is aiming to fund the project with a matched grant from the Rugby League World Cup.

The club also secured funding Merseyside Police, St Helens Borough Council Sport England, and Ravenair, a flying school based out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

As part of the plans, the club had to complete a tree survey, as well as assessing any wildlife living in the area around the premises.

“We worked really hard involving the neighbours,” Mark said. “The main issue was parking – Scholes Lane is really dangerous with buses running through and kids crossing between parked cars.

“The neighbours were fully supportive and we made parking one of the main priorities in our application.”

In recommending proposals for approval, planning officer Daley Parsonage said in a report: "The applicant has provided supporting information setting out the clubs intention and how the proposed development would enhance facilities for players thus supporting the club to grow in the future.

"The facilities proposed would benefit the wider community by increasing the amount and quality of social infrastructure with the function room also available for other groups to use.

"The enhanced facilities will support the growth of the club and ensure the continued use of the open space. The area with the club house extension does not impact on any of the existing sports pitches and so there is no loss of provision."

Plans to enhance Portico Vines facilities have been approved

Plans to enhance Portico Vine's facilities have been approved

The report concluded: "It is considered that the proposed development will support the future expansion of an existing sports club. This form of development is encouraged by Core Strategy Policy CQL5.

"The impacts of the extension on the character of the area and residential amenity are deemed to be acceptable.

"The development is considered to comply with the development plan".