Staplehurst Cricket & Tennis Club

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Invitation to tender: renewable energy feasibility study

As you will see from this page, the Club is undergoing an exciting phase of development and would like to explore the possibility of incorporating solar PV and ground source heating systems into our plans. We are in the process of applying for funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund that will enable us to assess the feasibility of developing a renewable energy system and help us build a business case.

In the event of a successful bid we will be seeking a suitably qualified consultant who will be able to deliver a feasibility study. Here is an Invitation To Tender for the project. The selected consultant will be included in our final application to WRAP, although whether the work is awarded will depend on a successful funding bid.

The deadline for tender submissions is 2nd February 2018.

Planning permission granted

Following Maidstone Borough Council’s planning committee decision to approve our application, planning permission was granted on August 25 with 12 conditions. These conditions largely relate to the siting and design of the properties and environmental, ecological and bio-diversity issues.

On this basis, the Club’s general committee has agreed to progress with marketing of the land with a view to completing its sale soon after the Club’s annual general meeting on January 24. At that meeting we will seek members’ endorsement of the sale, as required under the terms of the Trust in which the land is held, and a proposal for investment of sale funds in line with the Club’s agreed Development Plan priorities.

As expected, the potential sale has already attracted some interest. However, in order to ensure full transparency and establish a clear market value for the plot, we are today placing particulars of the property on the open market. We are grateful to one of the Club’s lead sponsors, Radfords Estate Agents, for agreeing to handle the marketing and providing their considerable local expertise in such matters to the Club, at a much discounted rate on their services for marketing commercial land of this kind.

For Sale boards will shortly be erected on the land and the marketing particulars will be available to view on Radfords’ website. The delay in gaining planning permission has worked in our favour and, although the overall market is less buoyant than at the start of the year, the market for high quality semi detached properties, on which the sale price of the land with planning permission will largely be determined, is faring better. The land is, therefore, being marketed with a price guide of £300,000.

This guide price is slightly ahead of our expectations at the outset of the project. At the same time, we are also advancing discussions with ECB, LTA and other funding bodies prepared to contribute further funds on a matched basis to develop key aspects of our sporting and income-generating facilities. This is an important part of maximising the investment return from this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for the Club to deliver much needed improvements and generate the membership and income growth that will help ensure our long-term financial viability.

A statement from Club Chairman, Joy Henson

The Club’s General Committee has spent much of the last 12 months exploring options for funding the estimated £100-150,000 cost of its 2016-20 Development Plan. This Plan (see below) is critical for ensuring our long-term financial and sporting viability, enabling us to maintain our founding mission of promoting and facilitating participation of the whole community in the sports of cricket and tennis into the foreseeable future.

After long, hard consideration we decided the most realistic solution is to seek planning permission for a small-scale development on current surplus-to- requirement land at the edge of the Club’s site. To this end, an outline application was submitted to Maidstone Borough Council on June 15 for a single pair of high quality 3-bed semi-detached houses.

We are conscious of our responsibilities to neighbours and the wider local community and have not entered into this application lightly. But our needs are substantial if we are to continue to thrive and, although we have a track record of significant fundraising in recent years, we cannot see any credible alternative to this proposal.

We have sought to ensure the impact of the proposed development is minimised, consistent with our obligations as a Community Amateur Sports Club to extract the maximum value for reinvestment in the club’s facilities and activities from any asset disposal. We have been concerned to avoid over development of the site and deliver the least obtrusive approach to issues such as access and on-site parking.

We believe this proposal strikes an appropriate balance and hope you will be prepared to support it. If so, perhaps you would kindly add your support to the Club’s Building our Future page on Facebook here.

Joy Henson
Chairman

Development

In recent years the Club has enjoyed a story of growth and success both on and off the field. With over 400 members, we are now the largest community organisation in Staplehurst. And with 50% of those members under the age of 18, we are also the largest youth organisation in Staplehurst.

Our vision is based on the Club’s historic mission to facilitate and promote participation of the whole community in the sports of cricket and tennis. The current members are only temporary stewards of the Club’s assets which are held in trust for future generations and we are intent on remaining a key contributor to the community of Staplehurst.

But we cannot afford to stand still. We face considerable future challenges to both maintain and build on recent progress. Not least, the significant capital investment required to improve our facilities and ensure the Club’s long-term financial and sporting viability.

So the Club needs to raise £100-150,000 in the next 5 years, over and above our business-as-usual commitments, to implement our 2016-20 Development Plan.

2016-20 Club Development Plan


Our Story

Slide presentation to Annual Parish Meeting – 23rd May 2016