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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 13/06/2006
Brightwell Bowls Club, Farnham - Options



APPENDIX I
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 13TH JUNE 2006

Title:
BRIGHTWELL BOWLS CLUB, FARNHAM - OPTIONS

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

Summary and purpose:

At its meeting on 17th May 2006, the Council instructed officers to report on options for Brightwell Bowls Club in Farnham as part of the East Street redevelopment proposals. This report outlines the options and invites the Executive to consider which of the options it wishes officers to investigate further.
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Environmental implications:

Any property redevelopment has significant environmental implications. The options to be reviewed will consider the environmental implications in detail.

Social/community implications:

As well as providing an active pursuit, which aids the health and well being of the members, the Bowls Club also provides a focus for social interaction albeit for a relatively small number of people. When considering the options available it is proper to give consideration to the impact on the provision of social opportunities for members of the club, as a factor to be weighed appropriately in making a decision on the options.

The East Street Scheme will provide a much-improved environment with more social, employment and retail opportunities for the community. Any decisions taken relating to the scheme must consider the implications in respect of the wider community benefits.

E-Government implications:

There are none arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The retention of the Bowls Club within the development is a ‘required element’ which will help provide a ‘green lung’ as specified in the Development Brief and conditional contract. Any option that involved a change to this position would be subject to further advice and this would be presented in the detailed report.

The Council has a duty to consider all relevant information in making a decision on which of the recommended options should be preferred. The Council, through its Members, must take account of changes in financial and other considerations affecting the Master Plan and the East Street Regeneration proposal since it was last considered. Such changes as are referred to in the report cannot reasonably be disregarded; in taking account of, for example, new financial information, it is possible and reasonable to adapt to change rather than persist with proposals presenting difficulties where problems have been recognised.

There are legal issues relating to the Bowls Club’s current tenancy. These are referred to in this report and would be the subject of further exploration in the subsequent detailed report.

It is possible that some legal and property advice may need to be sought to develop the options identified. Officers will endeavour to contain this cost within existing budgets.

Included in the report and presentations to members on East Street on 17th May were details of the estimated potential financial value of delivering the Masterplan Scheme without the Bowls Club being retained within the development site. As the scheme has been developed, the financial appraisals have been updated and it has become apparent that significant savings can be made on engineering works if it is possible to dig through the bowling green rather than to excavate beneath it. Were this to be permitted, it would still be possible to relay a grass or artificial surface thus ultimately retaining the ‘green lung’. Additionally if the building allocated for a new clubhouse were to be applied to a commercial use, a further value would be achieved.

Introduction

1. At the Council meeting on 17th May, officers were asked to report to the Council on the 18th July about a range of matters concerning the proposed East Street regeneration scheme for Farnham. This included options for the Brightwell Bowls Club.

2. At the same meeting, the Council also agreed to a revision of the original Masterplan. Whilst the revised Masterplan agreed by the Council includes the provision of a bowls facility as a “green lung” within the development, it has become apparent that there are a number of financial and operational issues relating to the retention and provision of the bowls club, which can be addressed in a number of ways. It is important that the Council therefore gives proper consideration to this information and considers all of the options available and implications arising at this time.

Options

3. To assist in the process, officers have identified the following options that could be considered further and the table below sets out in more detail the benefits and risks associated with each of these options. None of these options would affect the Council’s intention of providing a ‘green lung’ within the development.

OPTIONBENEFITS & OPPORTUNITIESRISKS & DISADVANTAGES
1Retain the existing bowls green with its grass-playing surface in its current position and provide a new clubhouse as part of the development (as included in the revised master plan). Meets the current master plan and development brief
Club continues
Significant cost implications for small number of beneficiaries
Difficulties associated with developing around the club
Impact on the green surface caused by surrounding buildings
Long period of closure during construction, which could lead to loss of membership and viability of club
2Provide a bowls green within the scheme with an artificial surface and new clubhouse. Playing surface will not be affected by surrounding buildings
Lower maintenance requirements and costs
Longer playing season
Significant cost implications for small number of beneficiaries
Initial cost of new surface not currently allowed for
Cost of replacement surface in future years
Long period of closure during construction, which could lead to loss of membership and viability of club
3Relocate the existing club to a new facility at Riverside. Period of closure during construction could be significantly reduced/minimised
This would free up the East Street site to allow developers to proceed with construction
This would provide an opportunity to create a green space with various uses within the development which could be accessed by whole community
Significant additional value in East Street Scheme
Cost implications associated with the provision of new facility
Potential problems associated with flood risk at Riverside
May reduce the capacity at Riverside to accommodate sufficient parking
Planning/Environment Agency permission/view may not be given for proposals
Delays could result in the loss of green for a period of time until new facilities are ready
New green will require period for establishment
4Relocate the existing club to a new location (investigate opportunities for merging with another club and providing new or improved facilities). This would free up the East Street site to allow developers to proceed with construction
Significant additional value in East Street Scheme
This would provide an opportunity to create a green space with various uses within the development which could be accessed by the whole community
Would cost less than providing dedicated new facility if joint funding could be secured
Currently no proposals in place
No suitable location can be found and club are left without a home
Clubs would need to agree terms for a merger
Would represent a modification to the current master plan and development brief
5Given legal advice that the Bowls Club could claim to be holding over on a
Business Tenancy, that the appropriate notice to quit be served under the
Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and that the appropriate statutory compensation be paid.
This would free up the East Street site to allow developers to proceed with construction
This would provide an opportunity to create a green space with various uses within the development which could be accessed by the whole community
Significant cost saving from not having to re-provide facility
Significant additional value in East Street Scheme
Other clubs are unable to absorb additional members
Would represent a modification to the current master plan and development brief

4. Any options that Members request officers to explore in detail would be considered in light of the following issues:

The financial implications arising from each of the options The number of members of the bowls club A consideration of Waverley’s role in the provision of bowling in Farnham Legal issues around the bowls club lease and the conditional contract/development brief Alternative options for providing bowling facilities Timescales for any construction or for transitional arrangements Planning considerations Reference to the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) Report.

Conclusion

5. Given the complexities associated with the East Street regeneration scheme, it is now apparent that there are a number of financial and operational issues relating to the retention and provision of the Brightwell Bowls Club. There are various options, which could be considered, and the views of the Executive are sought as to which of the options set out above they would like officers to develop more fully.

Recommendation

The Executive is requested to consider the options set out in this report and identify which of these options it wishes officers to investigate further and report back on in July.

Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432

E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk





Comms/exec/2006-07/046