Saturday, 18 June 2016

Private French School to take over Tenterden Pavilion and playing fields

Warning by John Billam Tenterden Parks and Neighbourhood Group earlier this month
Residents have promised 'strong opposition' to a bid by the Lycee International de Londres (the Wembley French School)  through its charity arm,  Wembley Education Charitable Trust (WECT), to take over the Tenterden Pavilion and playing fields. Cabinet will be asked to approve the transfer  on June 27th but  details remain in doubt - in particular an agreement with the long-established and rival bidder Forest United Youth Football Club.  Forest would have first option on the facility when it was not being used by the Lycee. John Billam is no ;onger included as the council wants to retain it as an aset.

The Proposal

.        2.1  That Members approve the proposal for a Community Asset Transfer of the Tenterden Pavilion which involves entering into an agreement to lease that includes provision for granting a lease of the pavilion for up to 30 years and granting a licence on the Sports Ground with the Wembley Education Charitable Trust Ltd (WECT), subject to continued access to community use, planning and funding.
.        2.2  That Members note proposals for the WECT, in order to meet the community use caveat above, to enter into an agreement with Forest United (1973) Youth FC a local charitable football club at the Tenterden Pavilion and Sports Ground during periods when it is not in use by the WECT and opportunity for community access by other groups, in what will be a significant new local sporting facility.
.        2.3  That Members delegate authority to the Director of Resources to finalise and agree terms of a leasehold and associated licence disposal to WECT in consultation with the Operational Director of Environment Services.
3.17       There are risks with the WECT application:
.        Most prominent is the lack of a full business plan which they have indicated would be worked up, subject to obtaining Cabinet approval. 

.        That WECT is unsuccessful with securing planning consent to build a new indoor sports facility with changing rooms together with an All Weather pitch at the ground, as there may be local opposition. 

.        The WECTi s unsuccessful with its funding proposal to develop the centre to its full potential although the risk is considered small. 

.        That WECT could exercise the lease break option in year 3,were the pupil number not to rise to 1200 at the Lycee International de Londres School. 

.        That WECT and Forest United are unable to agree terms that would allow a collaborative use of the grounds. 

Alternative/Exit Options

3.18    Officers are working with WECT to develop their proposals, however should the collaborative approach be unsuccessful with Forest United then the options for Brent are:
1.     To work with WECT on their own on the new sports facilities development proposal. 

2.     To work with Forest United to develop a much smaller Pavilion fitting on the existing pavilion foot print as detailed in Appendix 1; or 

3.     To consider developing the Pavilion itself in accordance with Brent’s Investment Strategy, provided the investment proposals stacks up, if this options were to be progressed it would be subject to a detailed business case to Cabinet at the appropriate time.

Interim Arrangements 

3.19    The poor condition and disused state of the pavilion on site has created a magnet for anti-social behaviour that has caused residents and the local residents association a lot of concern. As redevelopment plans will take some time to work through. WECT has agreed in principle to assist the Council with demolition of the pavilion. Forest United have said they will consider how a temporary structure can be built in its place, connecting into the existing services that benefit the land. The Council will need to grant a licence to enable this.

1 comment:

local resident said...

forest United is a local activity group that benefits the local community.
their interaction with youths gives them an incentive to get involved in sport and to stay of the streets and away from crime.
This is a facility all residents young and old benefit from, to lease it away to a private charity fronted organization is not the wishes of the local community.
This is a playing pitch facility that benefits the public,it must remain open and available to the public.