Friday, 6 January 2012


No further intrusion into public open space will be permitted, that’s the message from Cabinet Members over the proposed lease extensions for Margate Football Club.

At a meeting last night (Thursday 5 January), Cabinet agreed a series of recommendations, which will now go to Full Council for a final decision.  The recommendations from Cabinet are as follows:

·            Support the extension of the current lease for the main ground from 10 to 24 years.
·            Refuse granting a lease for an extended area for a football pitch, as this is too intrusive in Hartsdown Park.
·            Advise the removal of the extended parking area from the proposal or, at most, grant a small extension to the current car park. This would require the developers to seek an alteration to the current planning condition on parking provision. The reason for this is to avoid any further significant intrusion in Tivoli Park.
·            Support the granting of a lease within the current football ground area for the construction of a hotel in line with the approved planning application, but try and ensure that the lease is as short as possible, whilst still making the project work financially.
·            Support the extension of the lease for the current five-a-side pitches and car park from 15 to 24 years, to coincide in timing with the main ground lease.

Cabinet Members were clear that, whilst supporting the football club’s development and success in the future, this could not be at any cost to the parks.

Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Cllr. Alan Poole, said: “Let’s be clear, our recommendations to Council are not based on a lack of support for Margate Football Club.  The council has already shown its support by granting planning permission for the new hotel development and improvements to club facilities, which we hope will see many more fans through the gates. This cannot come at any cost though.  We have to be firm with any proposals that simply encroach too far into what is currently public open space. We’ve listened to local people through our consultation, and the public site visit, and I believe our recommendations reflect the range of views we received.”

Cabinet’s recommendations for the proposed lease extensions will be considered at Full Council on Thursday 19 January.

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