DAVID Buttress says the Dragons owners have “no excuses now” for not pushing on with the development of the famous Rodney Parade site.

Co-owner Buttress, who has stood down as chairman due to his commitments as chief executive of OVO Energy, has been involved with the club since being brought in by the Welsh Rugby Union in 2017.

Plans have long been mooted for regeneration of the nine-acre site – especially the area to the north of the stadium known as the ‘cabbage patch – but nothing has happened.

That could soon change after Buttress, David Wright and Hoyoung Huh completed a takeover of the Dragons from the WRU last September that included the land.

The trio are keen to push on with developing Rodney Parade to give the professional rugby team, who will once again finish as Wales’ worst team this season, a better chance of success with more spending power.

South Wales Argus:

“David and Hoyoung are hugely successful people and want to win, and part of their ambition comes with Rodney Parade as a site,” said Buttress.

“We know that the future commercial success of Rodney Parade will help to develop the team on the field. We have no excuses now – we own the site and it’s on us to do it.

“We’ve looked at various opportunities and are looking at a thesis for the part development of the ‘cabbage patch’ that would involve some investment from our side.

“Things are advancing, we have had proposals and we have had meetings with Newport City Council.

“There are loads of different ideas, from electric charging to padel courts to a various developments of the North Terrace.

“There are some exciting ideas and there will probably be some sequencing [of development] as we can afford to do it.

“But my god Rodney Parade needs it and it would be great for the city and for us.”

South Wales Argus: The Rodney Parade 'cabbage patch' in 1980, with the bowling green and clubhouseThe Rodney Parade 'cabbage patch' in 1980, with the bowling green and clubhouse (Image: Newsquest)

There are parts of the historic ground that have fallen into disrepair, notably the clubhouse.

The building has been condemned and will have to be demolished, although that will be a costly operation due to the presence of asbestos.

The Memorial Gates – which were built in 1923 to pay tribute to the members of Newport Athletic Club who died during the First World War – are grade two listed so have protected status under any development.

They were refurbished in 2006 thanks to contributions from Newport RFC, the Friends of Newport Rugby and the Newport Supporters’ Club.

Rodney Parade has also been home to Newport County AFC since 2012 and a 10-year rolling lease with the Dragons needed to be in place by the start of the season under EFL regulations.

The Exiles sorted a one-season lease shortly before the 2023/24 campaign while hunting for investment, a search that ended with Huw Jenkins taking over the club in January.