Capital advises Pontypool RFC on long-term lease with Torfaen County Borough Council

Back To Latest News

The club has been afforded an initial 25-year lease term, that will run to December 2044, which will be extended by a further 25 years to December 2069, after the development works previously approved by Torfaen County Borough Council’s planning officers achieves practical completion.

Our Real Estate team initially got involved at the end of 2017, to navigate the club through various legal stages and help it achieve its goal. Temporary occupation rights were agreed in 2018 and at the beginning of 2019, Pontypool RFC and Torfaen County Borough Council launched a renewed strategy to resolve all the required legal steps relating to challenges facing Pontypool Park by the end of the year.

Huw Thomas, who specialises in Commercial Property and Property Banking & Finance, advised the club on how to overcome hurdles that prohibited the level of development required by the club to consider Pontypool Park as its viable long-term home. This has included:

  • the release of a restrictive covenant binding on the whole of the park which required it to be open to the public
  • the consultation required with the community, park users and stakeholders in view of regulations concerning the disposal of playing fields
  • the negotiation with the Council of a lease with a further lease option conditional on completion of works
  • agreeing terms for the continued occupation or use by third party users of the facility

Our work was in tandem with lengthy discussions between the Club, the Council and its advisers regarding full planning permission – obtained late in 2019 – for the club’s extensive ground improvement proposals.

Works will now begin to erect the perimeter fencing around Pontypool Park in January 2020 and the venue will be fully secure by March 2020.

Ben Jeffreys, CEO at Pontypool RFC, said:

“This is a truly monumental moment in Pontypool RFC’s proud history, and I am delighted that we have been able to secure the club’s long-term future at its rightful home of Pontypool Park.

“Throughout this process, we had to navigate our way through a series of complex legal challenges and Huw’s input and guidance was pivotal to achieving this very positive result.

“Capital Law is a well-established and highly trusted partner of Pontypool RFC and it is because of their work that Pontypool RFC can now look forward to the prospect of re-invigorating its ground in early 2020.”

Huw Thomas, Capital Law, said:

“We’ve been lucky to have been involved in this project, and I was impressed by the determination shown by Ben, at the club, to see it through.

“There were several legal complexities to tackle, and the long-running discussions between the Club and the Council were very much in the public glare.

“It’s an iconic venue for rugby and all at Capital Law are delighted to have played some part in ensuring it remains the home of Pontypool RFC.”