Fears for future of Holbrook Club after lease row

Aerial shot of the Holbrook Club site in Horsham. Photo courtesy of Google Earth
Aerial shot of the Holbrook Club site in Horsham. Photo courtesy of Google Earth

There are fears for the future of a popular Horsham sports and social club after a row over its lease.

The Holbrook Club operates on land owned by Horsham Football Club in North Heath Lane.

The site is part of a development plan which would see a new ground for the football club built at Hop Oast. Houses would be built at Holbrook in a linked development, helping to raise funds for the ground.

A spokesman for Horsham FC said it was disappointed a deal could not be struck with the Holbrook Club.

A statement issued on behalf of the football club said: “Horsham FC has been committed to working with The Holbrook Club for some time now and are disappointed that the comprehensive, legally secure 25 year lease offered to them was rejected.

“It is HFC’s view that the new lease, as well as the development on part of the Holbrook, as well as a new ground at Hop Oast, would have secured a long and successful future for both parties.

“It is a shame that an arrangement could not be made as an agreement with the Holbrook Club was Horsham FC’s much preferred option.”

Paul Finn, deputy chairman at the Holbrook Club, told the County Times: “This was served to us last night at six o’clock without warning. It is with our solicitors and we will be issuing a statement in due course.”

The Holbrook is a popular sports, gym and social club used for parties, live music and business functions. There had been hopes it would be retained under the revised plans revealed by football club last week.

The proposals, described as the club’s ‘last chance’ to find a new home, have responded to concerns raised in previous application with a smaller more sympathetically designed clubhouse along with lower floodlights and stands.

They also outline the creation of 58 new homes on two of the current pitches at the Holbrook Club.

Horsham FC, which was recently promoted, has been without a home since 2008 and was refused permission for two different sites, including Hop Oast and the Holbrook Club.

The first of three public consultations on the new plans will be held this Saturday (June 25) in Horsham Market between 10am and 4pm.

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