A WORLD War II cemetery and an eyesore of an artist's impression have combined to bury early plans of getting Hong Kong's multi-million dollar Home for Rugby off the ground at Chai Wan. The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union's initial proposal to get their HK$131 million home built before the handover in 1997 has been turned down by the Government. The Union has run into an obstacle with the Town Planning Board who turned down their application for planning permission. The application was made in August under Section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance for the development of a pitch and associated facilities at the Tai Hang Tung village in Chai Wan. But their dreams of a Home for Rugby were swiftly shattered when the Town Planning Board informed them that the application to build on an old squatter site in a steeply wooded area just below the Chai Wan War Cemetery had been turned down. The reasons were twofold. The plan apparently infringed on the boundaries of the Chai Wan War Cemetery and the proposed stadium rose above the tree-line, turning it into an eyesore. 'They expressed objections at the height of the structure and the boundaries of the area,' said Grahame Low, the Union's director of grounds. 'Normally you expect queries about your application. You don't expect to be turned down outright,' said Low. 'Perhaps someone down the line misunderstood our submission.' According to Low, the Town Planning Board had circulated the application to the various government departments concerned. And somewhere down the line, someone had raised an objection which in turn had seen the application refused. The initial setback, however, has not fazed rugby officials in the least. They are confident that everything can be sorted out soon - and will go ahead and make an appeal under Section 17 of the ordinance. 'We are not unduly worried about the rejection. We are confident that our appeal will be dealt with favourably,' said Dave Roberts, chief executive officer of the Union. While Low, too is not overly concerned, and agrees with Roberts, he said the setback will push the time frame for completion of the Home for Rugby back. 'First we have to get the planning permission from the Town Planning Board. Once we get that, we have to make a formal application to the Government for a lease and then we can start building. 'Once we get possession of the site, we can have a pitch constructed and facilities in place in 24 months. But now that the hearing for the appeal is only in January, it will be around 1997 that we can expect the Home for Rugby to be ready. Although Union officials refuse to say it, they would obviously be happy if their Rugby Home is built before the June 30, 1997, handover date. They have already set up a Rugby Park Development Fund to help finance the Home for Rugby project. Earlier this year, HK$20 million was transferred from the Union's reserves into this fund. In a break from tradition, the Union at its annual general meeting in June, revealed their financial standing - revealing reserves of HK$32.3 million. The Director of Finance, David Bruce revealed then that the Union had made a surplus of HK$8.88 million last year.