Bradford on Avon Rugby Club has embarked on a £160,000 ‘Build a Barn’ project to construct an indoor training facility at its ground near Winsley.

The club submitted its planning application to Wiltshire Council in June saying it needs to “keep pace” with cultural changes and other operating constraints.

The barn would be built close to its clubhouse in Ashley Lane just off the B3018 on the north side of Winsley.

A club spokesperson said: “Every winter the club has to cancel training sessions due to inclement weather.

“In recent seasons we have lost a minimum of 2-4 weeks through waterlogged and snowed undergrounds.

“Moreover, wintry conditions work against teaching of many essential player techniques and mini-team patterns, thus player skills and even safety are impacted.

“BoA Rugby Club works hard to generate enough income to sustain the club and relies on two main income streams, membership fees and bar sales.

“The latter has proven to be the saviour over many years, but rugby is challenged countrywide with player numbers dropping.

“The club must improve its facilities to plug the existing operational deficiencies and add new income generating options.”

In line with Sport England and Rugby Football Union recommendations, the club wants to provide the training pitch inside a barn measuring 56 metres long by 31 metres wide and a minimum height of 7.5 metres.

It also wants to provide a strength and conditioning gym space and two changing rooms, showers and toilets.

The project could cost well over £160,000 but the club could generate rental income by allowing other sports clubs and local groups to use the pitch once it is built.

It has already secured a £29,869 grant from the RFU’s Winter Survival Fund to help fund the first stage of the project.

But Cllr Johnny Kidney, the Wiltshire Council ward member for Winsley and Westwood, said: “The site is located within the West Wiltshire Green Belt.

“Unfortunately, the club did not undertake any engagement about the proposals with the local community, Parish Council or myself prior to submitting the planning application.

“However, as part of the planning application, Wiltshire Council carries out statutory consultation which provides an opportunity for people to make comment about the submitted plans.”

The deadline for comments ends on Wednesday, September 6. The council hopes to make a decision by the end of this month.