Councillors have unanimously approved plans which could pave the way for London Welsh to move from the Kassam Stadium, to Witney.

The West Oxfordshire District Council yesterday supported the decision for the Championship rugby club to move to a site on Downs Road, to the west of the city.

The proposal would see stands capable of holding up to 10,000 spectators erected at the venue, which was the former home of Witney Town Football Club who folded in February 2013. 

Welsh have played at Oxford United's Kassam in a groundshare arrangement since September 2012, with this proposal, situated 18 miles away, being considered as an alternative.

Councillor Richard Langridge said: “It is clear that London Welsh coming to play here is absolutely fantastic for Witney and for rugby in the district."

Despite Sport England's objection to the plans on the grounds that two football pitches would be lost, planning application was still granted. 

Planning officer Phil Shaw said: "While it will mean the theoretical loss of football pitches, they are wholly unusable. The grass is so high, there are nettles and brambles, it is completely overgrown. It clearly hasn’t been used, so there is no actual loss.”

The club now has to go to the Professional Game Board for Rugby Union in England for their approval.

Posted on 19/02/2014