This article was originally posted: 24 June 2019 - on our old website.
Please also read our open letter to the Bicester Sports Association, dated 19 December 2018.
1) BRUFC currently play on the BSA Sports Fields at both Oxford Road and Chesterton, each with two pitches and training grids, though floodlighting is currently only provided at their Oxford Road site.
2) The BSA have sold the Oxford Road site to Bicester Village and have given us notice to quit by May 2021.
3) The BSA have in April 2019 submitted plans for further development at Chesterton, which if passed, exceed the provision of facilities at Oxford Road, albeit not yet fully aligned with the Cherwell District Council and Sport England Playing Pitch Strategy.
4) The BSA have told us that they are expecting the development at Chesterton to be ready to accommodate the whole club for the start of the 2021/2022 season.
5) The BSA have told us that they have no alternative plans if the proposed development at Chesterton does not get approved, therefore the board, assisted by the RFU, is engaging with Cherwell District Council and Bicester Town Council to explore other options to ensure that rugby is still played in Bicester from 2021 when we have to quit Oxford Road.
6) Currently BRUFC use the Whitelands Farm Sports Ground for some training and matches due to capacity and availability on the BSA playing fields at Oxford Road. The club is looking at the potential to increase our use of Whitelands:
a) to help the handover of the Oxford Road site from the BSA to Bicester Village, as an interim measure, pending the completion of works at Chesterton,
b) to help the building and development of the Chesterton site as an option for the mini section to continue to play rugby whilst that development is underway,
c) as an option should the plans for the development at Chesterton get turned down,
d) as an option in the event that the BSA provision at Chesterton fail to meet the Club’s current needs as identified in the CDC and Sport England Playing Pitch Strategy.
7) At this time, it’s business as usual with the BSA.
8) Any decision the club makes as to its permanent future home will be put to our members for a vote as and when we are able to offer them one.