Update on the proposed High Royds Sports and Social Club
This is an update on the current situation regarding the proposed building of a new Sports and Social Club which forms part of the original section 106 agreement between the developer and Leeds City Council (LCC) Planning Dept.
As you will be aware this project was led for several years by the High Royds Sports Association (HRSA) which comprised of various groups including the existing social club (HRSSC), Guiseley and Menston Juniors football clubs, Crompark Cricket Club, HRRA, with additional involvement of St Mary’s Academy.
This project involved an approximate build cost of £950K and was heavily reliant on funding from various parties, including the Football Federation (£328K) and LCC who provided a fund of £50K mainly for legal and commissioning costs. HRSA also had committed contributions of £30K each from both football clubs as well as a number of private contributions. (Avant Homes committed funding of £450K)
At the end of last year, after failing to secure adequate funding, HRSA pulled out of the project. At this time HRRA were no longer represented on the board of HRSA after the resignation of our nominated director. For some time several members of the HRRA committee had raised concerns about the likely shortfall in funding available to meet the proposed build. Following a number of tenders, the funding shortfall, combined with the effects of the Covid pandemic and the uncertainty this created, forced HRSA to abandon the entire project.
This left the High Royds Residents’ Association in a very difficult predicament and whilst HRRA have been working tirelessly over the last few months, made even more difficult by the pandemic and the inability to meet face to face, we are faced with a number of stark facts relating to the build and the future plans for various parcels of land on the development.
Avant, the developer, are committed to building the new Sports and Social Club with a fixed budget of £450K. This will provide us with a smaller facility but will not include fit out costs, furniture, kitchen appliances etc.
Avant have now submitted a pre-planning application to LCC planners which includes revised build drawings after consulting with HRRA.
In the last couple of months HRRA has created a working party consisting of residents, many of whom are relatively new to the community, to concentrate solely on the new build, liaising with Avant and LCC, to ensure a facility which will serve the development for years to come.
What we need is for more people to get involved. If you live on High Royds and you want to contribute please contact HRRA (firstname.lastname@example.org). The more people who are involved the more likely the project is to go ahead.
We do not have the funding which was available to HRSA. The funding from the various sports associations was conditional on the number and type of changing rooms within the proposed clubhouse. The existing budget does not allow for previously planned extensive facilities. Grants from the Football Federation and Sport England may still be available but would be dependent on HRRA and the football clubs and/or others entering into some form of collaboration with regards any future club structure. Funding from LCC may no longer be available. HRRA are meeting with local councillors on site in June to investigate any further potential funding which may be available.
The impact of the club NOT being built
What you need to be aware of is the impact on areas of land if the build does not go ahead. As well as the land where the proposed clubhouse is to be built, any lease which could potentially be transferred to us as residents would include the following:-
The main car park
We could be faced with a number of scenarios if the project fails. The land will be owned by Avant, they could sell it to a third party, the football pitches may be left to go to seed. Do you want this as an owner living on what I am sure everyone would agree is a beautiful development?
Please get involved
If you get involved you can make a difference. You can get involved with the planning stage, you can help support the running of the clubhouse facility if and when it opens, you can help fundraising, you can help by using the facility and organising private events etc.
Do you have or do you know someone with a legal background who knows about leasehold contracts and transfer of land to charitable organisations? If so we need you to come forward.
With the project at the pre-planning stage it is likely to be a few months before it goes through the full planning process, especially taking into consideration the effects of the pandemic on LCC processes. It could be winter before the building starts, which provides us with valuable time to plan and prepare.
We need money, we need people…….. we need you!