MEMBERS of a Hampshire rugby club are celebrating one of the best results in its history.

Fawley Rugby Club has finally been given planning permission to build a new clubhouse - seven years after it started drawing up proposals for the much-needed facility.

The club is based at the Gang Warily sports centre in Newlands Road, Blackfield, where it shares some of the buildings with other users.

Players have to change at the centre and then cross the road to reach the two rugby pitches.

Now the club's application for a pavilion beside the pitches has been given the go-ahead by New Forest District Council - two years after it rejected a previous proposal.

The latest scheme sparked 36 letters of support.

One of the people who wrote to the council was Richard Hewett-Curl, of Thornbury Avenue, Blackfield, who said: "This will become a great asset to the area. I fully support anything that creates amenities and increases interest in recreation in within the Waterside area."

Fawley Parish Council had urged the district council to approve the application.

Welcoming the authority's decision parish clerk Steve Postlethwaite said: "The club has grown since moving to Gang Warily and the shared facilities at the centre are not big enough to accommodate them. The council was therefore pleased to support this application, which will take the club forward to the next level."

Rugby club spokesperson Vicky Belson added: "Fawley RFC needed to have a place to call home.

"Our own clubhouse will give us a firm footing to continue with the development and growth of the club. We will be able to offer the community a safe and controlled area to train, play and watch rugby."

The club was based at the now defunct Waterside Sports and Social Club in Long Lane, Holbury, until 2014, when it moved to Gang Warily.

One the its supporters said the "ever expanding" club deserved to have a sports pavilion and changing facilities to match.

He added: "This will save players and supporters having to cross a 40mph road just to visit the toilet."