Belsize Park's Globe tennis club continues to fight Camden Council as funding thrown into question
PUBLISHED: 09:23 09 August 2017
A Belsize Park tennis club says an ongoing row with Camden council over its lease is threatening its existence as it struggles to secure funding with its future uncertain.
The club says it faces possible closure despite assurances from Camden Council that it has no plans to turn the site into flats.
Globe Lawn Tennis Club on Haverstock Hill is at the centre of an enduring controversy over the terms of its new lease, the previous decades-long lease having expired in January 2016. The Council is insisting on including a back-dated three-year break clause in the new lease that would allow the site to be reclaimed for development.
A Council spokesman, however, has claimed that it has no plans to do so and cabinet member for planning Cllr Phil Jones has said the Globe was ‘a marvellous facility’ that the council “will continue to support”.
But Globe committee member Howard Lock says the break clause doesn’t just pose a potential problem in the future - it throws the club’s continued existence into doubt in the here and now.
“The LTA [Lawn Tennis Association] won’t fund any clubs that can’t guarantee their long-term continuity,” Mr Lock told the Ham&High. “This is an existential question for the Globe.”
The tennis club’s president, Anna Lee, has meanwhile written an open letter to all 54 Camden councillors urging them to intervene.
“Our existence is entirely dependent upon external funding,” she wrote. “Our funding body, the LTA, has made it clear that our funding would cease immediately if the break option is written into the lease.”
Mr Lock urged supporters of the club to write to their councillors. “Please impress upon them the need for Cllr Phil Jones to drop his requirement for a break clause in our new lease,” he said.
The same Council spokesman, meanwhile, said that the council would be willing to look at funding issues if necessary. “The council works with many voluntary organisations with external funding, to help with funding applications and to clarify any matters as a landlord,” he said.
“We will happily pick up any such matters as part of our lease negotiations with the Club.”
A court decision on the new lease is duethis month.; it is widely expected to find in favour of the council’s position.