Fresh hope for Hatfield’s Angerland site as clubs back new plans
PUBLISHED: 08:56 23 April 2013 | UPDATED: 08:56 23 April 2013
AN overgrown wasteland looks set to be transformed into Hatfield’s new home for sport after years of speculation.
The Welwyn Hatfield Times can reveal the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield Queen Elizabeth Rugby Club and Hatfield Town Football Club are on the brink of unveiling designs for Angerland Common, off South Way.
An agreement between both clubs has led to the formation of the Hatfield Sports Association, and the university is understood to have invested £1.4m in the project.
Details are unclear at present but it is believed there will be several pitches for both sports, a bar and changing rooms.
It is thought the new facility could be up and running by the end of next year.
Toby Garrett, chairman of Hatfield Queen Elizabeth Rugby Club, said: “It is a very exciting development and things are going very well and it has been thoroughly supported by all three parties.
“It will be an excellent facility for the community and for the rugby club.
“Any club needs a firm base they can call their own, it will help us build.
“It will allow us to develop a juniors’ section to further support the community and increase our community reach.”
Throughout the years a number of plans have been floated for the university-owned land, with permission granted to build a 450-seater stadium and cricket facilities in December 2005.
However, the plans stalled and the plot was used as part of a park and ride scheme.
The chairman of Hatfield Town Football Club believes the new proposal will be a success.
Chris Maloney said: “This is the closest we have ever been and I do really feel that this time it is going to happen.
“I’m struggling to convince people, but this time I think it is going to happen, it is still ongoing.”
The club currently plays at Gosling Sports Park in WGC.
The university confirmed the developments in the long-running saga but would not be drawn on any detail.
Andrew May, director of estates, hospitality and contract services, said: “Talks between the University of Hertfordshire, the Borough Council and Hatfield Sports Association about a sports facility on Angerland Common are ongoing.
“Further discussions around the details will be taking place in May with the aim of submitting a planning application later on in the month.”
Councillor John Dean, leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he was “delighted” with the scheme and it “has been a long time coming”.
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