There have been two developments over the past few days, which have caused comment and even concern amongst members.
The first is that the application for outline planning permission to “Demolish existing beach club and replace with a new 2 storey Beach Club and a new 3 storey residential dwelling” has now appeared on the Rother Council website. The Club (not Martello) submitted this application in December because the rules on planning development were changing (making any such development more difficult in the future) and we needed to submit the application then to secure the option to take forward. If the application is successful, this will give us two years in which to decide whether we want to proceed with the development.
Crucially, the application has been made by the Club, and it does not tie us into proceeding with the development with Martello or with any other company. Nor has it cost us any money. The publication of this application does not signify that there has been any change in our position. It merely reflects a normal stage in the planning process which, owing to staffing problems at Rother, has been slower than usual.
In accordance with the commitment made at the Extraordinary General Meeting in October, we are working up alternative options for the future of the Club, including a “do nothing” option, and an in-house development (eg adding a second storey on the existing footprint). Any decision on how to progress will ultimately be made by the members of the Club, not by the Committee and not by the Trustees.
The second issue is that there has been speculation in the local press recently about the financial viability of Martello Developments, which the company has contested. The Committee has no additional information on this matter, and it is an issue which will have no bearing on the Club.
Re-opening seems a long way off at this time, but we are committed to securing the future of the Club; at the next meeting of the Committee we will discuss a strategy for coming out of ‘lockdown’.
In the interim, we have registered our regular staff under the furlough scheme and have received the first reimbursement (to 19 April 2020). We have also been successful in our application for a Local Authority grant of £10,000. This is clearly very welcome, but we still have ongoing financial commitments, such as insurance, electricity (to keep chillers and CCTV going), bank charges etc which will erode our capital.
Accordingly, we are most grateful to those members who have helped our cashflow by renewing their membership for 2020/21, and in particular to those who have added an additional donation. For those who have not yet renewed membership, you can do so by direct payment into the Club bank account (£18 single membership; £32 joint):
Sort Code: 60-10-15; Account no: 87689472; Account name: The New Beach Club
Again, as previously advised, under any other circumstances we would have held our Annual General Meeting by now, and at that meeting we would have discussed Committee membership. As of now, most of the current Committee members have agreed to stay on, but we are always open to expressions of interest to join the Committee. We do currently have vacancies, and do not have a membership secretary. If anyone would be interested in taking a more active role, either now or post-AGM, please let us know.
Finally, a reminder that the Monday night quiz is still taking place via Zoom and is going from strength to strength. There is no charge to join in – details are on the website.
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