Monday, 12 March 2012
MARGATE FOOTBALL CLUB DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS
Margate Football Club has advised the council that Travelodge have withdrawn from negotiations to take a lease of the proposed hotel, when completed, on part of the football ground site.
Cllr. Alan Poole, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, said: “Obviously we’re disappointed to hear this news and hope that Margate Football Club is able to find another operator for the hotel that they are proposing. We have been negotiating with the club, as we agreed at both Council and Cabinet, about the various leases they were asking for. The aim was to support the club as much as we could, but while still protecting the area’s open spaces.
“One of the leases related to the construction of the hotel and the recommendation we agreed was that the lease would be as short as possible, whilst still making the project work financially. To do this, the council needed information from the club, which we were still waiting for at the time of the decision by Travelodge, before going any further with this element of the lease negotiations. Once we had that information, we would then have hopefully come to an agreement with the club about the final length of this lease, but adequate information was not provided in time.”
It is understood that Margate Football Club will be seeking interest from other hotel operators and the council will be supportive of this, but as before we will still be seeking the shortest lease necessary for any development to move forward successfully.
The full set of recommendations agreed by the council on 19 January and Cabinet on 2 February were to:
· 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. Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Cllr. Alan Poole, to agree the final length of lease, in consultation with Cllr. Rosalind Binks; and
· 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.