Chiefs Look Forward To New Home
Exeter Chiefs are on course to be playing their rugby in a brand new purpose built stadium at Sandy Park, on the outskirts of Exeter, after the appointment of Kestrel (Contractors) to construct a new stadium pitch and training pitches.
Having worked closely with Exeter City and Devon County Councils, and other statutory Authorities for many months, planning permission was finally approved to build a new stadium and training facility immediately adjacent to junction 29 of the M5.
The site will house not only superb playing and training facilities, new grandstand, exclusive hospitality suites and function areas for the Exeter Chiefs, but also a David Lloyd Tennis Centre with indoor and outdoor tennis and swimming facilities, gymnasium and social areas.
Dean and Dyball have been appointed main contractors for the stadium construction and Kestrel were the rugby club's choice to build the playing facilities due to their ability and knowledge to construct both natural and synthetic playing surfaces.
Construction has got off to a tremendous start since not only is the site on a sandy sub strata but it has also been a very dry winter, allowing the programme of works to commence much earlier than had been anticipated.
As we speak, the stadium pitch has had the sub base graded, drainage installed and the on-site topsoil is due to go on in the next few weeks in conjunction with a full irrigation system.
Once the stadium pitch is completed, a full size natural grass training and junior pitch will be constructed. The County Ground has been sold to developers Bellway Homes with effect from May 2006. This will allow the club sufficient time to ensure that the new Stadium at Sandy Park is ready for use, both on and off the pitch, from the beginning of 2006/07 season, in September 2006.
Last but not least and fundamental to the overall plan, a 3rd Generation Tiger Turf ER65 long pile artificial pitch with rubber crumb surface layed onto a dynamic base, with IRB clause 22 approval, will give the club an ability to spread the wear throughout the season on the natural pitch and the potential for much needed revenue by hiring the synthetic pitch facility to the members of the public.
This major redevelopment will enable the club to provide the facilities necessary to achieve the club's goal of becoming a premiership club and indicates that in no uncertain terms the level of commitment the club has to achieve this.
To view a virtual fly-by of the Chief's new ground please visit http://www.exeterchiefs.co.uk/site/1/fly-by.html (note you will need the latest version of Flash installed.)
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