Following Maidstone Borough Council’s planning committee decision to approve our application, planning permission was granted on August 25 with 12 conditions. These conditions largely relate to the siting and design of the properties and environmental, ecological and bio-diversity issues.
On this basis, the Club’s general committee has agreed to progress with marketing of the land with a view to completing its sale soon after the Club’s annual general meeting on January 24. At that meeting we will seek members’ endorsement of the sale, as required under the terms of the Trust in which the land is held, and a proposal for investment of sale funds in line with the Club’s agreed Development Plan priorities.
As expected, the potential sale has already attracted some interest. However, in order to ensure full transparency and establish a clear market value for the plot, we are today placing particulars of the property on the open market. We are grateful to one of the Club’s lead sponsors, Radfords Estate Agents, for agreeing to handle the marketing and providing their considerable local expertise in such matters to the Club, at a much discounted rate on their services for marketing commercial land of this kind.
For Sale boards will shortly be erected on the land and the marketing particulars will be available to view on Radfords’ website. The delay in gaining planning permission has worked in our favour and, although the overall market is less buoyant than at the start of the year, the market for high quality semi detached properties, on which the sale price of the land with planning permission will largely be determined, is faring better. The land is, therefore, being marketed with a price guide of £300,000.
This guide price is slightly ahead of our expectations at the outset of the project. At the same time, we are also advancing discussions with ECB, LTA and other funding bodies prepared to contribute further funds on a matched basis to develop key aspects of our sporting and income-generating facilities. This is an important part of maximising the investment return from this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for the Club to deliver much needed improvements and generate the membership and income growth that will help ensure our long-term financial viability.
We will continue to update you on progress.
Staplehurst Cricket & Tennis Club, Frittenden Road, Staplehurst, TN12 0DH