Stricken English Premiership side Wasps RFC have put in motion an application to the Sevenoaks District Council in Kent for a new 24,000 – 28,000 seat stadium.
Identifying two parcels of land on either side of the M25/M20 junction, which they would like the council to consider for the development of a stadium.
In addition to the Stadium, the proposal would include four pitches, a gym, a medical centre, an R&D centre, Supporting offices, restaurants, a player’s lounge, and a hotel.
Clearly, this is an exciting development from an ownership group that appears driven to return the historic club to relevance. The question in the interim, however, will be whether Wasps will return prior to the Stadium’s completion and, if so, where they will be based.
Wasps plans are part of a wider set of proposals that were put to the district council and include the development of 2500 new houses.
The wider plans were met with opposition form local residents, speaking on the matter Councillor Simon Reay, from Sevenoaks District Council, said: “The sites under consideration have been put forward by landowners in the most suitable and sustainable locations, those that are close to existing settlements with transport and services.
“After the consultation closes, and we have considered all of the comments, we will publish a revised version of the local plan during the summer when our communities will have another opportunity to comment on the proposals.”
Founded in 1886, Wasps FC was originally founded as part of Hampstead Football Club but was later split into two clubs, Wasps and Harlequins F.C., due to a membership split.
Wasps would remain in Wycombe until 2014, when they would relocate to the Ricoh Arean in Coventry. Eight years later, the club would enter administration having failed to repay a £35 million bond.
On December 16th 2022, the club announced that it had been successfully sold and exited administration and looked to be returning to action in the Championship but were later denied entry by the RFU, having not hit a deadline to confirm commitments made when the license was first approved in December.
Over the years, the club has had some of English Rugby’s finest talents, such as Lawrence Dallaglio, Josh Lewsey, Rob Andrew, Joe Worsley, Simon Shaw and Phil Vickery, to name a few.
On the pitch, the club is one of the most successful sides in English history, with 6 Premiership titles and two European Cup titles to its name.