|CLUB CRITICISED OVER RUGBY MOVE
(Saturday 18th May 2002)
The Club have been strongly criticised by local residents and other bodies over the proposed move to allow Wasps Rugby Club to be play at Adams Park. Wycombe District Council are expected to rubber stamp the move when they meet on Monday 20th May but it will leave many local residents unhappy. Sands Residents Association (SRA) are accusing the Club of 'emotional blackmail' and infringing 'human rights in a statement prior to the meeting. The SRA have also suggested that the Club have not addressed access problems and have exploited use of land near the ground for car parking. The Club are relying on a 'travel plan' to ease through their planning application which will justify the gamble of laying a £500,000 'desso' pitch and undersoil heating.
In a strongly worded statement sent to the WDC planning commitee, the SRA said "The Club have used emotional blackmail over the years to obtain many and various consents, including the training pitch on land adjoining the stadium. That permission has now lapsed and the land is used illegally as a parking area, encoraging even more people to travel by car to the site"
Wanderers have produced a 15 page 'Travel Plan' that will be presented at Monday's meeting. The plan attempts to address the ongoing problems surrounding matchday access to and from Adams Park and it will prove vital in swaying the vote in favour of bringing in Wasps. The Club have also stated they have begun a regular dialogue with residents in an effort to overcome matchday problems, and stated "We are not just paying lip service to the problems, that is why the 'Green Travel Plan' is an important part of the on going negotiations."
The commitment to the travel plan is made even more important with opposition to the move also be laid down by the 'County Highway Authority' and 'The Federation of Stadiums'. The latter state that Adams Park is "a recipe for parking and traffic chaos" and go on to add "Wasps supporters will almost certainly rely to a greater extent on private transport and any attempt to increase the usage of the stadium without an affective travel plan will generate increased traffic and congestion"
But Wanderers move to bring rugby to Adams Park has also been met with approval. Sport England have backed the capaign as Wasps have a good record linking with local community and an internal campaign from the Club has led to close to 50 letters of support beeing sent to the Council, including some from local rugby clubs and schools. However, the SRA have also implied that the Club have become over confident and arrogant in their planning applications. They state in the planning report "The club's past victories have given them confidence to go ahead with an expensive all weather pitch in anticipation of being granted permission. We urge the council to consider the residents this time, club finances are not a planning matter"
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