A FIRST look at how Pontypool RFC's historic ground could look after a planned upgrade has been revealed.

The club has lodged plans with Torfaen council for protective fencing around the rugby facilities at Pontypool Park, which it has occupied since 1945, after previously being hit with vandalism, arson and other anti-social behaviour.

Proposals would see the enclosure of the north terrace, pitch and main spectator stand with fencing as well as a refurbishment of the ground.

South Wales Argus:

Images show plans for a renovated grandstand, with new seating, side screens, a replacement scoreboard and new player dugouts.

The club had said it was looking to leave the ground due to anti-social behaviour issues and trouble overcoming a park covenant which had prevented fencing off of the rugby facilities.

South Wales Argus:

But in January an amendment was made to the agreement and the club announced its intention to stay at the ground, which hosted visits from the All Blacks and Wallabies when Pooler were one of the most feared sides in Britain.

"The proposed development would provide an opportunity for the complete renovation of the grandstand, which would significantly improve its visual appearance and ensure that it is not subject to further acts of vandalism and arson," the plans state.

"Furthermore, the proposals would ensure that the site benefits from improved levels of maintenance going forward.

South Wales Argus:

"The proposals would also result in the restoration of the northern spectator terrace, which is currently becoming a danger for pedestrians."

Plans would see eight trees planted along the footpath to the north of the terrace, as well as specimen trees within the wider park and soft landscaping.

South Wales Argus:

The development would bring "significant improvements to the setting of the park" through the renovation and tree planting, it is said.

Resurfacing of the car park and re-arranging of the space will also allow for more vehicles to be accommodated.

Ben Jeffreys, Pontypool RFC chief executive officer, said the application is "a key component to securing the club’s long-term future at Pontypool Park."

South Wales Argus:

"The planning application demonstrates our desire to make Pontypool Park a premier sporting venue for the whole community to enjoy and it is our hope that we can bring about much needed improvements to the ground, but this can only be achieved if the plans are approved," he said.

MP for Torfaen, Nick Thomas-Symonds, is one of more than 20 people to have expressed support for the plans since they were lodged this week.