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New pavilion passed by the planners

Artist's impression of the new pavilion

Members of Olicanian Cricket Club are celebrating after planning permission for a new pavilion was granted, nine months after the club first submitted an application.

The Ilkley-based club whose pavilion was destroyed in an arson attack just over a year ago submitted plans for a replacement in January but the fact that its Denton Road base lies in the River Wharfe’s recently expanded flood risk zone delayed the planning progress.

Chairman David House said: “It’s been a long time coming but we’re delighted to receive planning consent. It’s a huge step forward. We’ve had to modify the plans to accommodate the requirements of the Environment Agency. Our ground has been flooded a few times in recent years and whilst the floodwaters never reached our former pavilion, the plans for its replacement had to take into account how climate change may affect us in the future.

“The Environment Agency has now signed off our modifications and the planners, who have been very supportive, have now passed the proposal,” he said. The new pavilion will look modern, light and airy. The lounge and bar area will be able to accommodate up to 90 diners and will be available for use by non-cricket organisations for dinners and other celebrations. The footprint of the building will be slightly larger than its predecessor, primarily to accommodate increased space for changing rooms, shower areas and disabled access.

“The criteria set by the England and Wales Cricket Board for the size of dressing rooms and shower facilities has changed since our previous pavilion was built. Hence, we’ve had to increase the size of the building to comply with the ECB’s requirements,” said Mr House.

The building was designed for free by Ilkley-based architect Mr Bill Horsley. Olicanians trustee and local property developer Mr James Turner has overseen the project on behalf of the club.

Detailed costings have yet to be completed but it is thought that the club may need around £80,000 in grants and donations to complete the work.

“The insurance claim after last year’s fire will cover much of the build cost. In addition, in the immediate aftermath of the fire we were thrilled to receive more than £20,000 in donations from the public and other organisations.

“This year, however, we’ve still had running costs and with no pavilion and Coronavirus preventing any cricket in the first half of the summer, we have had negligible income to offset those costs,” added Mr House.

The club was promoted last season into the top flight of the Aire Wharfe League but results on the pitch, during what has been an abridged 2020 season, have been disappointing.

“There’s no doubt that the turmoil caused by the fire has impacted on our performances on the pitch this season. For the future wellbeing of the club, we feel it is vital that we appoint a main contractor as soon as possible and get the build completed as early into the 2021 season as possible,” he said.

The project will be going out to tender in the next few weeks with the club hoping work can start during November. At the time of the fire, many businesses and sub-contractors offered to contribute to the rebuild free of charge.

“We recognise that Coronavirus has changed the situation for many, but we shall be getting in touch with people in the coming months to see if those offers of help are still there,” added Mr House.


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