A RUGBY club is aiming to build an artificial grass pitch.

Thurrock Rugby Club, which plays at Oakfield, Long Lane, Grays has applied to the council to build the pitch at its home ground and replace its flood lighting system.

It will also create a new technical area for coaches and players, as well as an area for fans to watch matches.

In its design and access statement, the club says the project "will enhance the quality of playing pitches", and provide increased usage in comparison to the existing grassed pitch.

It did acknowledge the loss of a pitch as a result of the plans, but also aims for the new one to be used "for the benefit of partner organisations and community groups including local junior and youth rugby clubs."

The report reads: "We are seeking to gain the maximum rugby developmental outcomes; both during the day and during evenings and at weekends via prearranged and structured community access.

"This increased use is made possible by the introduction of an artificial grass pitch surface which is more durable in comparison to natural turf, especially during winter weather conditions.

"The artifical pitch also avoids close season maintenance works. The new AGP will result in the loss of a usable grassed playing field, however overall usage will not decrease and the proposal will result in greater capacity utilisation across the playing season with greater training sessions and match play."

A final decision on the plans is expected to be made by May 10.