BRACKNELL Town have only just settled into their hugely refurbished Larges Lane ground, but already the Robins are looking to the future – just down the road, writes Dave Wright.

Their ambitious chairman, Kayne Steinborn-Busse. has revealed plans are already underway to build a state-of-the-art sport and education complex between their current ground and Ranelagh School.

It will not be confined to football, but several other sports, including rugby, netball and athletics.

This plan was as a direct result of the Football Steering Group chaired by local MP, Dr Phillip Lee, and attended by local football clubs, as well as key council stakeholders.

Steinborn-Busse disclosed at one of the early meetings the point was raised that football clubs should look to forge closer partnerships with schools within the town.

He continued: “Most clubs are seeing major growth due to the regeneration of Bracknell and it was noticed there are schools with large green space that goes unused on a Saturday and Sunday.

“We took the concept to Ranelagh School and met with the head teacher, Beverley Stevens, and deputy head, Mark Williams, back in late 2015.

“They loved the concept from day one and we began the process of refining the plans to fit the schools needs, and the needs of our club. As we are both focused on the futures of youth our needs were quickly aligned.

“Ranelagh’s playing field is located in Larges Lane, a short walk from the school and next door to Bracknell Town’s ground. Once we had finalised the concept it was put before the Diocese and Governors who all unanimously supported it.”

The aim is to build two new 3G pitches, one for football and one rugby pitch. There will also be three netball courts and a multi-sport cage, plus a 100m sprint track and long jump pit.

The building will be made up of two classrooms, changing facilities and a gym, plus a coffee shop.

Steinborn-Busse added: “We started the planning process earlier this year, people will have seen the extensive work that has already taken place on the nine-acre field.

“In June we submitted a pre-application and we have received a response from Bracknell Forest Council regarding our proposal to redevelop Ranelagh playing fields.

“I am pleased to say the initial feedback is they are supportive of the concept. They have made a number of recommendations for us to incorporate into our full planning application and identified key planning policy which is now being drafted into a full application.

“We have also been working closely with the immediate neighbours to the field to ensure their views and aspirations are incorporated into the final design.

“The concept has been well received due to the wider impact such a development will have on the youth within the school, our club and also the wider town. A facility of this quality will help produce better people and also future sporting stars.

“We are aiming to submit the full application in December. There is a 12-week major application timescale for a decision, however, there is a possibility due to the scale of the project that could see that timescale go beyond 12 weeks.”

In the meantime, work is well underway on the building of flats and houses at the Larges Lane end of the ground. The development deal enabled Bracknell to install a 3G pitch a year ago, in addition to building a new clubhouse.

They have enjoyed tremendous success on the field whilst also building up a huge youth section and this has been well received by the people of Bracknell. They are among the best-supported Step 5 sides in the whole country and last Saturday more than 260 fans saw them beat Buckingham Athletic 6-2 in the first round of the FA Vase.

Steinborn-Busse’s long-term aim is to see the club move up the non-league football pyramid and sees this new facility as a key part in that plan.