The story of our new clubhouse. (updated 25/7/18)

The committee have been working hard to have bigger & better clubhouse since Easter 2016. It’s not been easy. We’ve had talks with Kirklees council officers and we have been asking them for a larger building to replace our shed which has been in place for two and a half years. See the blog written at the time

It was much better at the time than what we had before – access to the park ranger room but the room was a long way from the terrain and meant we had to lug all equipment up and down from this room.

This in itself was better than the previous arrangement which was Paul & Roy would bring stuff in the boot of their cars and take it home afterwards.

So we decided that we needed a bigger shed. In fact we didn’t need a shed we needed a quality building that was wind and watertight that could hold 20 plus members if the weather was inclement and could cope with the occasional cup of tea and biscuits. The original 12ft by 8 ft shiplap wooden shed (with 12mm walls) would be kept for storage and we would buy a new log cabin style building with 45mm interlocking timbers which would provide 350 sq ft instead of 96 sq ft.

There were some obstacles in our path. Firstly we don’t own our terrain so we have to have permission from KMC to do works. Secondly we need planning permission due to the nature of the works we want to do. Thirdly we need to raise money to pay for all the work as estimates are around £12,000 and we only have £1,500 in our development fund. Fourthly we need to find someone to do the work as it’s too big a job for our aged members.

We also decided to have a flat gravelled area around the new building to take tables and chairs where people could sit, have a drink and a chat on those lazy summer afternoons.

Here’s the Timeline – keep coming back here to see updates

Easter 2016 – AGM directs committee to produce a report about a new clubhouse.

Summer 2016 – KMC officers and councillors read the report.

September 2016 – KMC unexpectedly offer us use of the Community room. We accept.

Autumn 2016 – Nothing happens.

January 2017 – we ask KMC what’s happening and eventually a meeting is set up to discuss it

April 2017 – in a meeting where Councillors are present KMC agreed to speed up the Community room access.

April 30th 2017  – we get keys to the community room. Unfortunately it turns out not to be the answer. It’s not ours as we share it with other organisations that book it; we asked to book our regular afternoons but KMC says yes but give part of our Thursday session to another group; we can’t do much with it as it has be cleared after each use; It’s too far from the terrain for people to pop into in between games; we have lock it when there’s no-one there. The conclusion of the report written nearly a year ago that we needed a bigger shed still holds true. We rarely use the community room.

Summer 2017 – we have meetings with head of Parks Rob Dalby who suggest we apply for planning permission. A pre -application advice session with a KMC planner costs £300. He also says he’ll work on a lease for us. We are invited by KMC to apply for a lease and find out that one condition of it is that we pay £500 legal fees to set it up. This slows us down bit as it’s about 60% of our annual income. We talk to ward councillors and other councillors and they smooth the path a little.

We’ve chosen the building  we want. Here it is. 6m by 5m and much better quality than the shed.

October 2017 – we submit a pre-app.

November 22nd – Committee members meet with KMC planning about getting planning permission for this. They looked at our pre-application and made a few comments, some minor changes and said that it was OK and they would support it if we turned it into a formal application which we hope to do quickly. Unfortunately the application form requires a declaration from the landowner. We email Rob Dalby and ask for advice on this matter. He passes it on to another part of KMC and the waiting starts again.

Oh and when we finally get this planning through we’ll need about £12,000 in grants to pay for it all.

December 4th 2017 – We submit an Expression of Interest in having a lease on a patch of land near the terrain. We don’t need a lease on the terrain – just the grass next to it where we will place our log cabin.

January 2018. Lease agreed at £100 per annum. Now the council has to go though a open consultation process which takes a few weeks but ends up with us signing a lease which in turn allows us to obtain planning permission which means we can look for funding and build!

April 2018. Small group set up to do minor works in preparation for project

13th April 2018. Planning permission application submitted

13th April 2018. First application for funding made.

23rd April 2018. Planning application agreed as valid

7th June 2018. Draft lease received. Need to do a few small things then sign.

18th June 2018. Planning permission granted.

Following is planned but will probably change

June 2018. Funding search starts. Local and national organisations will be approached. A crowd funding campaign via social media will also be used.

June 28th. KMC confirm a grant  of £2,000 for levelling ground to be taken in kind from Parks Dept.

July 2018. Groundworks don’t start (levelling ground and flags to receive log cabin, gravelling out levelled area, sleeper surrounds).  Meeting with KMC says they will undertake this but not until we have sufficient funds to buy the log cabin.

July 25th 2018 JustGiving appeal launched via Facebook, Twitter and on our own website. Target £5,000.

Sept 2018. Awards/funds received. Log cabin ordered.

Oct 2018. Log cabin built and operational. Relocating of existing shed. We will self build. Volunteers will be needed.

Oct 2018. Fitting out and furnishing. (kitchenette, Crockery/cutlery, shelf, Noticeboard, lighting). Self build again.

Spring 2019. Construction of new terrain.