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Artist impressions of the new building

The plans are in for new OCC pavilion

FIVE months after the fire that destroyed its pavilion, Olicanian Cricket Club has submitted a planning application for a replacement building.


The Ilkley-based club lost everything in an arson attack at its Denton Road ground last August and completed the cricket season playing out of temporary buildings and tents.


Now an application for a new clubhouse has been put before Bradford Council planners and the club hopes to have permission by the end of April, allowing work to start during the course of the summer.


It is hoped the building can be completed in time for the start of the 2021 cricket season.


Olicanian CC chairman David House said: “We are delighted to have got to the point where we have submitted an application. It’s been a tough few months for those involved in running the club but it’s been a real team effort and, by putting in an application, we feel like we’re starting to see real progress.


“We’ve been carried along in our efforts by the thought that the people of Ilkley are very much behind us,” he added.


“The design of the new pavilion is contemporary, practical and very stylish. We think it will have a light and airy feel about it and, assuming we get permission, the building will serve the needs of the club and also the people of Ilkley for decades to come.”


As well as the players’ changing rooms, showers and toilets, the plan includes a bar and lounge area which can seat 80 people, together with an extensive kitchen.


“Once complete, we hope to generate income through letting the clubhouse for events. The view from our ground is exceptional and this building should complement it perfectly,” added Mr House.


The proposed building will sit in broadly the same position as its predecessor, although the footprint is slightly larger, primarily to accommodate changes in building regulations and England and Wales Cricket Board guidelines.


“We’ve had to make the changing rooms and a couple of other things larger to comply with ECB requirements and building regs. We’ve also brought the new building forward to allow for additional car parking spaces,” said Mr House. 


The building is single storey and is expected to cost around £350,000 to build.


“There were initial thoughts about erecting a two-storey building on the site but we quickly ruled that out. Quite apart from the initial build cost, we thought it was important to live within our means and that whatever we put on the site shouldn’t be a long term drain on resources. 


“The previous building was insured and we have raised a chunk of cash through very generous donations from the public and various organisations since the fire. 


“However, we think we’re currently about £75,000 short of what we need and we shall be organising fund-raising events and investigating the possibility of grant aid in the coming months to get us across the finish line,” he added.


Plans for a major three-day fund-raising event in September are being put together but Mr House said: “The plans are at a very early stage, but if they come to fruition, we think the event will be something that the people of Ilkley can really get behind. We hope to be able to give more details in the next few weeks,” he said. 


The new clubhouse has been designed by Horsley Townsend architects who have offices in Ilkley and Wetherby. They carried out the work free of charge. 


Mr Bill Horsley, a partner in the firm, said: “We’re very pleased with the look of the building. The design came to us pretty quickly and then it’s about ensuring the building is fit for purpose and complies with all the relevant regulations.


“The proposed building has a modern feel to it but we think it will sit very well in the surrounding landscape and be a real asset to the club.


“We felt we wanted to help the club because it was a local organisation that was in need and it will be good for the town once they’re back on their feet again.”


The All Saints Pre-School which, before the fire, was a tenant of the cricket club’s former building, is currently based at the Little Lane Children’s Centre in Ilkley and is pursuing its own plans for a long term home.


In the meantime, the cricket club is preparing for the new season which starts in April. Olicanian CC will play in the top division of the Airedale and Wharfedale Senior League for the first time in its history but all home games will be played out of temporary accommodation.


“The whole club will be run from portable units this summer,” said Mr House. “We’re due to have these buildings delivered in March and these will be our changing rooms, kitchen, dining area and toilets for the 2020 season. 


“We would ask all visitors to appreciate the situation we find ourselves in and, hopefully, in 2021 we can welcome visiting teams and the wider public with accommodation that is rather more fit for purpose,” he added.

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