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Sumner County Residents Fight Proposed Rugby Field

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Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 08:36:36-04

COTTONTOWN, Tenn. –  Residents of one Sumner County community are fighting to keep an unwanted addition out of their neighborhood.

Volunteer State Community College has leased a 35 acre piece of land in Cottontown to the Sumner County Rugby Club, and the club wants to turn it into a rugby field.

The empty land is located at 1000 Upper Station Camp Creek Road. Residents in the community said they are concerned the field would bring noise and additional traffic on the winding two-lane road.

“I moved out here intentionally for the rural country setting,” said Catlin Hale, a resident who opposes the field. “We have nothing against rugby, and nothing against sports. We do have something against something being placed in the wrong place.”

Now signs that read “Save Upper Station” fill yards in the area. Hale said the majority of residents in the area oppose the project.

Officials at Volunteer State Community College and the Sumner County Rugby Club hosted an informational meeting on the project at the school Tuesday night.

“There’s some misconception and misinformation going around the community,” said Dr. Jerry Faulkner, President at Volunteer State Community College. “We want to make sure people have full and accurate information to make their decision.”

Brian Silkwood, a coach with the Sumner County Rugby Club, said the organization has been around for four years, and has about 50 kids playing on high school and middle school teams. Practices typically happen in the evenings, and games are also complete by 9 p.m. Plans for the field include a regulation size rugby field, bleachers and a parking lot.

The club currently practices in Goodlettsville, but Silkwood said the Cottontown location would be ideal.

“We have kids that come from all over the county,” said Silkwood. “The location is more centralized for the whole county.”

Officials at Volunteer State Community College said another community meeting would be held in the near future about the project to give residents another opportunity to voice their opinions.

Neighbors continue to collect signatures on a petition to show opposition to the project. For more information visit: www.saveupperstation.com

Before anything happens at the location, the Sumner County Planning Commission would have to approve a site plan and a conditional permit to use the field for rugby.

Officials at Volunteer State Community College were hopeful that could happen by the Fall.