08 March 2021 / Club News

Club Update - Proposed Trinity Fields Expansion

Club officers have been involved in discussions with CCBC since Nov 19 when we were first notified that this development would see the loss of the clubs main field (Trinity 1). These discussions have revolved around the mitigation to be provided for the loss of the pitch.

Whilst those discussion have been ongoing the club has respected the process and refrained from commenting publicly. But we now feel the time is right to provide members an update on the current situation – particularly with the recent worrying images of sewage being discharged onto the fields at the Sue Noakes site.

Unfortunately – despite our best efforts, at this point in time, the club has been unable to accept the mitigation proposal that has been put forward by CCBC.

Below is a summary that we hope will give members an appreciation of the current situation.


What is being proposed?

The current school will be expanded onto the Trinity 1 pitch to provide an additional 80 pupil spaces and additional council services at the site. This would mean the loss of the entire pitch.


What is the current mitigation proposed by CCBC?

  • a replacement pitch will be provided by marking up a pitch on the existing green space to the south of the current pitch at Sue Noakes Leisure Centre – this pitch will become known as SN2. It will have herring bone drainage installed under the playing surface.
  • The existing pitch at Sue Noakes (SN1) will have a tarmac path and pitch barrier installed around the perimeter with no improvement to the current drainage situation proposed. A high ball fence will be installed along the tree line to the north and east. The current temporary floodlights attached to the back of the main ATP floodlight turrets will be improved.
  • The existing back pitch at Trinity Fields (T2) – CCBC have stated that the flooding issues on the existing T2 pitch are insurmountable so no works are proposed to improve the drainage. Some form of lighting will be attached to the new school fencing.
  • A small M&J pitch will be marked out on the old college field (behind the bund) in YM park. This will be known as Trinity 3 (T3). No improvement to the drainage or the current access path are proposed.


What is the clubs position regarding the proposal?

The club can not accept the proposal in its current format for various reasons. We have serious concerns regarding the position we will be left in at both sites if things proceed on the current basis.


Sue Noakes Leisure Centre

  1. Sewage

Perhaps most alarming are the recent multiple instances of two foul trunk sewer manholes at the site discharging raw sewerage onto the area of the proposed new pitch (SN2).

Suffice to say as a club we are massively concerned by this – the councils initial comments to us suggest that they feel these incidents are rare and unlikely to reoccur. However, three instances in the last 8 weeks, previous recorded incidents and the historic testimony of locals suggest that these manholes regularly discharge.

Welsh Water own the pipes/manholes and are currently investigating the cause and what action can be taken at the site.


  1. Ground Conditions

We have raised concerns regarding the current poor drainage at the site and the intensified usage that will undoubtedly follow from the removal of T1. Combined with proposed shared usage with football and improvements to the floodlighting to allow training sessions there - the pitches will be under intense strain.

There are no proposals to install drainage on the current SN1 pitch and we have yet to see a detailed plan of how the proposed drainage system at SN2 will work. Given the pitches proximity to the river we are worried that per T2 conditions, the drainage problem is insurmountable.


  1. Changing Rooms

We have raised concerns regarding the changing facilities. The current changing facilities are poor and can barely cater for two teams.

With the astro-turf due to be refurbished and Hockey matches gladly returning to the site – there is a realistic prospect on a Saturday of a hockey match and two rugby matches taking place at the same time (6 teams) with only 2 changing rooms.

Additionally – with the YMCSE not guaranteed to be available and T2 not up to standard, the SN1 pitch effectively becomes our home ground for hosting WRU Division 1 matches. We have no assurances that referee changing rooms or a medical room will be available at the site, both of which are WRU membership requirements and are both in place alongside the current T1 pitch.


  1. Proximity from the Clubhouse

The current T1 pitch is alongside the clubhouse and ideally placed for after match meals and refreshments for both players and supporters. Playing up at the Sue Noakes pitches is currently a last resort for our club due to the poor conditions there and the adverse impact on both clubhouse revenue and player/supporter experience.


Additionally, if changing rooms are unavailable at the SNLC site then we face the prospect of teams changing at the clubhouse and then having to walk/travel through the town centre to the pitch.


  1. Parking and impact on the town centre

With more and more Senior and M&J rugby games being played at SNLC and Hockey returning – there is a concern regarding the parking situation and impact on the town centre on game days.


On Saturdays - when 1st team games are played from SNLC, there will be on average c300 spectators and players/coaches all requiring parking at the site. We fear that the local infrastructure will struggle to cope – especially if there is a hockey match at the same time.


On Sundays – with the likelihood of multiple M&J games on both pitches through the morning/afternoon, we fear the same scenario.


Trinity Fields

  1. Trinity 2 – Existing back pitch

Drainage - the council have agreed that the current drainage problems that see half the pitch  underwater during heavy rain are insurmountable and any further works on the pitch are not viable. As such there will be no improvement to current conditions and the availability of the pitch.


Lighting - whilst we are yet to see any specific detail – the councils proposal is to attach some form of lighting to the school fence on the Easterly side of the pitch to possibly allow winter training. Given the current state of the pitch, the prospect of midweek training does not seem viable given the current drainage situation.


  1. Trinity 3 – New M&J pitch

In terms of the proposal of using the land at the rear of the park (over the bund) as a M&J pitch – this area has worse general drainage than T2 and without any drainage improvement scheme or an access path, it will not be a viable pitch for the majority of the season.


A further real concern for the Trinity Fields site is a recent CCBC update on the flooding issues in lower YM. It suggests that part of the solution would be to de-culvert the brook that runs alongside the T2 and proposed T3 pitch to provide natural storage and attenuation of flows. We have requested confirmation but this sounds worryingly like T2 and T3 will be used to collect water from the brook and act as natural soakaways – worsening the current drainage conditions that CCBC agree are already poor.


What are the next steps?

The club have submitted a detailed response to the current mitigation proposal that highlights our concerns and contains requests for clarity on multiple points.

Disappointingly, over the last month the council have cancelled the last two meetings to discuss our concerns and have indicated that they are comfortable that the mitigation they have proposed is adequate and that a further meeting is unlikely to happen until after the Education Scrutiny committee meets (22nd March) to discuss and agree that this proposal moves forward for cabinet to make a final decision (7th April).

If cabinet decide to progress with the development, the final stages of the process will involve the submission of a formal planning application alongside a full business case being submitted to Welsh Government for approval - if both are successful, the development will begin with the field likely lost from Autumn this year.

We appreciate that this is a worrying situation. We will keep you updated on further developments. Please contact a club official if you would like to discuss in more detail.

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