New bid to save Canal Park rugby ground in Inverness

Highland Council simulation of Option Six The new bypass could force Highland Rugby Club to leave its Canal Park ground

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One of the groups against the Inverness bypass is to hold discussions with Highland Council over the future of Canal Park rugby ground in the city.

The new West Link bypass will cut through the park before joining with the A82.

Council officials' preferred plan is to construct a new sports hub at Charleston.

Highland Rugby Club said it wanted to remain where it was and make improvements to the facilities there.

The council has agreed to look at a new plan which would see the construction of a new International Rugby Board (IRB) standard, all-weather rugby pitch at Canal Park and the redevelopment of the club's changing and club rooms.

Any redevelopment would be cross-partnership between Sportscotland, the Scottish Rugby Union and High Life Highland.

'Lacked clarity'

The proposed bypass has attracted criticism from a number of bodies who feel the disruption it will cause outweighs its benefits.

In December last year, Sportscotland said Highland Council "lacked of clarity" over its plans to relocate sports facilities affected by the West Link road and suggested the council had underestimated the affect the new road would have on local sporting clubs.

The local authority said that the new £34m road is needed to free up increasingly congested roads across Inverness.

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