UPDATE TO TWRFC MEMBERS ON THE FUTURE OF THE CLUB
ALTERNATIVE GRASS PITCH PLANNING APPLICATION
As you are aware we submitted a planning application to both Tunbridge Wells and Wealden Borough Councils in October last year. The applications are considered simultaneously by both authorities. The planners and a number of the statutory consultees have raised some queries and requests for additional information which we are in the process of answering. This has involved some further studies and reports to be commissioned.
We anticipate all of this work to have been concluded before Easter following which we hope to be able to move towards a committee date at which the application will be considered.
I would also like to mention that the support you offered on our planning application in the form of supportive comments was extremely helpful and will, we hope, contribute towards a successful outcome
We are continuing with this process and will keep you updated on progress here.
Over the past five years, the Board has fielded enquiries from developers interested in the land that TWRFC occupies. Every approach has been analysed with the help of experienced land developers, lawyers, planning consultants and contractors close to the club. On each occasion it was obvious quickly that the developers had not done their due diligence or were just prospecting. We have therefore never considered or opened a detailed discussion with any party.
However, last year, the club was approached by a developer that had done some serious research and background on our site. With the help of a very experienced team from within the club and supplemented by some paid for diligence by Savills, the board are in the process of considering a proposal for the land at St Marks.
This would mean the possibility of us relocating to an alternative, and much larger, site; offering the club the opportunity to design the layout of the site and the clubhouse to our own specification. Along with a larger custom-built clubhouse, we could have parking for several hundred cars, pitches (adult rugby, youth rugby and cricket) and an alternative grass pitch. This would enable us to have a community based, multi-sport site that would be best in class in the County.
WHY WE ARE WRITING TODAY
The Board is communicating with the TWRFC membership today to assure you that we are continuing to progress our plans for an alternative grass pitch but that the possibility of relocation is also under discussion. We are completing due diligence on each of these options so we are able to present one to the membership based on the long term goal to continue to provide the best community sporting facilities for our members long into the future.
You will understand the complexity and confidential nature of these discussions and whilst we appreciate you may have lots of questions, I would respectfully ask that you bear with us until we are in a position to offer more detail in the not too distant future.
On behalf of the TWRFC Board