As most of you will know the Club submitted an outline planning application in December 2019 to redevelop the Club and to build a residential property on part of the plot.
The development itself would have been subject to a positive vote from members.
Rother Planning advised some 3 weeks ago of their intention to reject the planning application because of very considerable concerns expressed by Environment Agency over flood risk. Rother determined that Environment Agency concerns effectively constituted a veto on the planning application.
The Club had three alternatives:
It was not clear that the scale of changes required would have been practical in the relatively short time that we had to complete them.
Had Rother rejected the application, there would have been a potentially significant delay in the decision notice reaching us.
The option to withdraw the application was deemed by the Committee to be the most appropriate option since it allows the Club to submit a new application, at nil cost, within 12 months of the withdrawal date. Accordingly the Committee advised Rother, via our architect, that we wished to withdraw the planning application.
At the Extraordinary General Meeting in October 2019, the Committee committed to providing members with the option of developing the Club ourselves (subject of course to funding being secured), and we have commissioned plans accordingly from a Club member at minimal cost. These should be available to view in about 4 weeks time. The Committee proposes to move forward with this option if at all possible.
The Environment Agency, in its letter to Rother, confirmed that the flood risk which it cited in relation to residential development would not affect any non-residential development.
The Committee will keep members updated on this issue.