Doncaster Knights submit Castle Park stadium expansion plans to meet Premiership requirements

Doncaster Knights has submitted a plan to double their stadium capacity in order to meet requirements for promotion to the Gallagher Premiership.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 1:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 9:33 am

Doncaster Council has received a planning application from the club which details a ground expansion to increase the spectator capacity for the main pitch as well as additional parking at Castle Park in Wheatley Hills.

The Knights finished second in the RFU Championship last season losing just three games all season.

In order to meet the RFU’s Minimum Standards Criteria, it is proposed to increase capacity to at least 10,001.

DONCASTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: A general view of Castle Park Stadium during the Greene King IPA Championship match between Doncaster Knights and Saracens at Castle Park on April 18, 2021 in Doncaster, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Plans submitted to the council will include a new East and South stands taking the stadium capacity from 5,139 spectators up to 10,015 with additional ancillary supporting facilities.

The proposed seated stands on the east side of the main pitch will be located behind the existing standing terracing which will remain.

The proposed seated stand – which will be part covered – will replace the existing seated terrace.

The club said both proposed East and South stands would be ‘significant in scale’ although it is considered to be made from ‘neutral, non-reflective materials’ which has the potential to ‘blend in with its surroundings and retain the open character of the area’.

The scheme would provide a ‘significant improvement’ to disabled facilities at the ground in terms of spectator viewing.

Knights were told back in March by the RFU that the club and fellow table-toppers Ealing Trailfinders would be denied promotion to the RFU Premiership on grounds their stadiums could not accommodate 10,001 fans.

A Doncaster Knights spokesman said: “To summarise, the proposal is appropriate in this location and would enhance an existing sporting facility both in terms of the quality of experience offered to its users and the overall visual appearance of the ground.

“The impact on the appearance and openness of the surroundings should be acceptable due to the woodland screening around the site and use of appropriately coloured materials.

“The level of additional traffic generated would not result in problems on the highway network and the level of parking and parking provision elsewhere is adequate to serve the site.

“The applicant is proposing a series of sustainable traffic measures.”