11:17AM, Thursday 16 January 2020
Sports clubs based at Braywick Park have revealed they are generally in favour of Maidenhead United’s potential relocation to the venue.
Maidenhead Rugby Club, Maidenhead Athletic Club and SportsAble are all based at Braywick Park, and the Magpies have been in discussion with all three about its potential plans to move away from York Road and build a 5,000 capacity community stadium on land near the running track.
Maidenhead Athletic Club president Cathy Ison revealed that the running track at the park would be lost, but was hopeful that a new track would be included in the plans.
She said: “We support it and are discussing how we can work together.
“We will lose the track, and that’s a major concern, but it’s 60 years old and in bad need of replacing. We see this as an opportunity to work with the football club and get new facilities for both of us.”
SportsAble chairman Asghar Majeed added: “SportsAble completely understands the issues driving the proposal to relocate to Braywick Park and can see that there could be some benefits for SportsAble in the longer term.”
Maidenhead United’s chief executive Jon Adams revealed that the club intends to build a 300-metre track around the training pitch, but a 400-metre competition-standard track may be a possibility, as well as an indoor hall equipped for wheelchair sports.
He said: “We have made a commitment to the athletics club to make sure there are facilities for them once the project is finished.
“I feel the dialogue has been very positive with all stakeholders.”
The response to the plans has been largely positive, and Maidenhead Rugby Club chairman Steve Bough said he ‘admires’ what the club are trying to do.
However, he raised some concerns over the additional people who would be using the park.
He said: “I think there are a lot of issues that need to be sorted out to ensure it can work.
“The number of people there on match days is a concern for people in terms of parking, transport and movement of people.
“But they haven’t had a chance to propose solutions yet, it’s still very early days.
“I admire what they are trying to do, I don’t think the problems are insurmountable, but they seem quite complex.”
SportsAble’s Mr Majeed added that he wanted to learn more about how the park’s infrastructure would be affected.
In response to this, Mr Adams said any new stadium would not be accompanied by a large car park.
He said: “We are already a club that doesn’t have much car parking, one of the benefits of Braywick Park is that it’s still a central location.
“We want to promote walking and public transport and cycling.”
He added that he also hopes to have further discussions with the users of the parks should the potential plans be developed further.
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