Health club wants to build 13 apartments

TWO outdoor tennis courts could be lost at Kings Health Club to make way for 13 new apartments, if planning permission is granted.

The owner of Kings Health Club, Long Port, has submitted plans for new apartments and a club refurbishment which would see two outdoor tennis courts go. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1290455)
The owner of Kings Health Club, Long Port, submitted plans for new apartments and a club refurbishment which would have seen two outdoor tennis courts go. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1290455)

TWO outdoor tennis courts could be lost at Kings Health Club to make way for 13 new apartments, if planning permission is granted.

Long Port owns the site and is planning to start a major refurbishment of the club next year.

Kings director Steve Brehaut said the apartments, which would cost £5m. to build, were vital to help fund a major redevelopment of the club.

‘The residential development is essential to enable the significant financial investment into the club,’ he said.

‘Without this source of funding, the substantial refurbishment works planned for could not be financed.’

Comments for: "Health club wants to build 13 apartments"

Devil's Advocate

Ah, yet another Longport sob story made up to sell their properties/allow them to develop their land! "Please let us remove half the sporting facilities at Kings so we can reinvest in the club" "Please fill in Belle Greve bay or Guernsey can't survive".

local

Longport yet again doing whatever it takes to make money by developing Guernsey land. This seems like we have a new Portholme that wants to build cheap, charge lots and pocket the large profit. Given the poor build quality seen at the Royal Hotel site this should be just another reason to decline permission

Out of the box

If this is allowed it may be a good idea for Beau Sejour. Apartments/houses to rent where the old trim trail was and next to it. It would fund the centre and thus reduce its cost and perhaps even make money!!

One rule for one.......

I fail to see why this should be allowed, the change of use from (presumably) recreational to development is a dangerous precedent to set.

What if the KGV or one of the football clubs said they'd like to improve their facilities but could only do so by building x number of units, would that be ok? I'm sure there are many clubs that could benefit from this type of policy, and they're not all privately owned like Kings is.

At firt sight this likes like a fairly crude blackmail attempt along the lines of "give us building permission or we won't pay for a refurbishment of a private members club that people pay us handsomely to use".

BrayeB

There is a Google Group which Kings members and local residents are invited to join in order to discuss the proposals:

https://groups.google.com/d/forum/kings-club-developments

Rachel

I've seen the plans for this refurbishment and it really is impressive, however, apart from being a little fancier i fail to see what is in it for members. Sure the place will look a little grander but it is still the same facilities, the same space, the same rooms and the same services. The only thing which would add real functionality is the proposed roof over the new tennis courts but according to staff at kings, the tennis court roof may not be built even if passed.

IWV

I seem to remember only a few months ago Sylvans football club had a hell of a job trying to get permission to remove an earth bank running down the centre of one of their fields

Peter

It will be another case of not what you know, but who you know!

PLP

I preferred it when the Chinese Gourmet was there - you could have a tasty meal followed by a boogie on the dance floor. Good times!

IWV

I think I slipped on one of your boogies once

PLP

How do you know it was mine?

racketmaestro

Kings has so much history with guernsey producing some of the best squash players in the world and is the oldest tennis club in the uk.

the reason there is only 2 squash courts is because most of the squash players were meant to feel un welcome so the owners could reduce the amount of courts at kings.

it would be such a shame to see this great club be made into accomodation which in the present climate might not even sell.

Phil

First of all Guernsey isn't in the UK, secondly Kings isn't the oldest club in the British Isles, if that's what you meant.

Apart from that I agree with what you say, this development should not be allowed to happen.

racketmaestro

Phil thats what they were claiming before they updated there website re the oldest tennis in the british isles

racketmaestro

previous owners have applied to build on the tennis courts with no success so this will be interesting to see if long port get permission.

russm

This was Billson's aim all along. Run down parts of the club and then apply for residential accommodation. He reduced the squash courts to a number that meant no leagues, competitions or juniors could operate at Kings and then said there was no demand so took away more courts. The changing facilities have been a disgrace for years since he bought the place. Hopefully this will be turned down but it wouldn't surprise me if it was allowed as he has the funds to take on the States.

racketmaestro

Also the management at Kings didnt even have the decency to let members know that courts were being taken away

members we phoning up to book there regular court only to have the reception tell them that oh sorry that court is no longer in use

very professional way to run a premier club !!!!

racketmaestro

Also since the club has gone from 3 courts to 2 and very shortly to 1 court they are still charging the rackets members the full rate even though they cant play as much as they would like.

But all they say is well you are paying for the use of all the facility's most of the squash and racketball players only want to use the courts not ponse around in the gym or health suite !!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry am i going on a bit :)

Guernseyman

Well get behind the current plans and ideas to build a dedicated squash facility elsewhere ...

Long Term Member

Quite a load of junk being spouted on this thread.

Suggest people review the scheme before commenting. The appartment scheme is in context of the size of the sight relative small.

As a long term member of Kings I have always taken big interest in developments and recall a rather animated meeting a while back which informed members squash courts were likely to go. Admittedly this was a few years ago.

I do however agree the changing rooms (and other areas) are terrible and in need dseperate need of refurbishment.

Whether or not the appartments get permission I don't know but hopefully there will be some money invested in the club itself, as it has been a long time since the health club for which member pay their fees has had significant investment.

I just hope we see significant improvements to all areas which benefit the members if this comes as a result of a few appartment well so be it.

Guernseyman

So what do you pay your fees for? Where does that money go?

Every other private club funds its refurbs or extensions via their membership.

It is recreational land not building land and LP knew that when they took it on. They should be denied permission like everyone else would if they applied for it.

russm

That meeting related to reducing courts from 6 to 4 since when 2 more have been taken and a further 1 is now proposed - all decisions made with no discussion with members.

There has been little investment in the club because it was bought with the hope of obtaining permission for residential development. The way to stop this sort of speculation is to turn down these plans.

Long Term Member

The current gyms were created as a result of the 6 to 4 reduction and whilst I can't remember exactly when this happened it was whilst Mr Wakeham still owned the place. The meeting I recall was after Long Port became involved and did discuss the reduction from 4 courts.

Not really defending Long Port as other than new equipment in the gyms when they first started the members facilities have been left to fall into a terrible state since Long Port's involvement.

The plans for the club on the website look fantastic and I'd love to see the club refurbished. If this comes as a result of 13 appartments being built then fine by me.

Guernseyman

It should come out of your fees like every other club or association does it

BrayeB

LTM,

'I just hope we see significant improvements to all areas which benefit the members.'

Yes, you are right that the club is in a pitiful state. What exactly has happened to all the membership money Long Port have taken while they've been running the place into the ground?

As for the prospect of improvement - I fear it may remain a distant hope while the club is in their hands. None of us has seen the actual plans yet, only a marketing brochure, but I'm willing to bet there won't be any guarantee that the refurbishment will happen even if the flats are built.

This is just Billson wanting to have his cake and eat it.

Herbert Roth

As with many of Longports business acquisitions, they are only interested in the money to be made from the property development side of things not the business itself. This should not be allowed for the simple reason that a precedent should not be set for accommodation development on sports recreational sites. If Longport can't / won't develop the site as a health / sports club then make them sell it to someone who will.

racketmaestro

L.T.M.

If long port dont get permission i am sure they will not put money into the club so be prepared for it to stay exaclty as it is they have already said that the aprtments are to help fund the devolopment of Kings.

why do they advertise it as the islands premier leisure facility Beau Sejour is in far better condition and so are other Leisure facilities around the island.

racketmaestro

The plans are on the Kings website

racketmaestro

one more reason why the tennis courts dont get used and more is the bad condotion they are in

there use to be a group of 10 to 15 tennis players who regulary played every week and weekend and when they found out about the proposed plans and to take away tennis courts they all gave up there memberships and went to long camps.

so as like the squash players they felt they were being very i'll treated by the management of Kings.

I am sure that if the Gym members were being treated in the same way they would feel the need to get out of the club.

As Russm as pointed out the main aim of long port was to redevolpment Kings into residential it is on recreational land and should be kept as a leisure club not redevelop for resdiential use.

Jimmy

Whatever the result with the apartment plans, the refurbishment of the club facilities is essential to mantain membership levels. Other venues like La Grand Mare have just upgraded their Gym facilities which offers a good altermative. Beau Sejour is a cheaper sports venue with a different membership profile so probably offers less by way of competition although they have the advantage of acres of space.

sarnia

kings claim to now have over 2000 members all paying a average of £50 a month thats a revenue of £1.2 million thats without renting out monkey puzzle skillset and pelicans cafe.How can they justify not redeveloping the club unless they get permission to build apartments.

Also the tennis and squash users are the only group without a member of staff to run the club nights/ leagues etc.Why would you have the biggest area in terms of size tennis courts and squash courts without a coach or professional to run them.Kings have let the members down in this respect.Jersey squash club has gone from 69 members to over 300 in 2 years.How by employing a profesional to run it.They have built more courts not taken them away.

Guernseyman

hence there are plans to build squash new courts on another site and move away from kings completely

Banfest

Can you elaborate? There are a core of members who only ever joined Kings to play squash, the other facilities were not important, other than being nice to have on occasion.

The availability of courts elsewhere would affect my continued membership at Kings.

racketmaestro

Yes Guernseyman there is and this has only come about as ings have slowly got rid of most of the squash players at the club.

if there were still 4 courts there wouldnt be the need they have no idea on how to run a squash club let alone a leisure centre its all been done so the development can go ahead.

will be interesting if the plans get turned down maybe it will go up for sale that would be a godsend get the courts back and use the wasted space at Kings for gym space.

and run it as it should be !!!!!!!!

A.J.

If the plans are passed then once again we will see one law for the developers and another for the 'ordinary' folk. If we continue to allow this Island's population to expand,and assuming that they are all housed. What on earth are they going to do in their leasure time? Vandalism is already an expanding leisure activity along with Burglary,mugging and car theft in the UK, no reason to believe that the same won't happen here.Merry Christmas to all our posters.

Outsider

Pitiful changing facilities. Swimming pool falling apart below water line. Pelican staff rude. Skillset incompetent teenagers.

Yet we all pay up!!

Is this just a reflection of how poor other Guernsey facilities are, or how naive membership are?

racketmaestro

See this from 2005

Kings plans run into opposition

Saturday 17th September 2005, 12:00AM BST.

NEIGHBOURS are up in arms over plans to build a massive housing and sporting complex. The ’5m. revamp of McCaulay’s Kings Club has sparked a storm of protest.

People living in Route Charles, Les Croutes and Beau Repaire have slammed the plans, which they say will clog the roads with traffic and loom over their homes.

‘There simply isn’t enough space for this kind of development. The area is already intensively built up,’ said David Hodgetts, who lives in Les Croutes.

‘It is difficult to assess exactly what is going to be built as the plans are not very clear, but it will have a huge impact on the area.

‘The flats will tower over us and neighbouring houses and the strain on the drainage system will be unimaginable.’

Plans for the site include 26 studio apartments, a sports injuries clinic and physiotherapy centre, squash courts and three fitness suites.

Proposals also include underground car parking, three indoor and two outdoor tennis courts and an indoor showcase one for top matches. But the neighbours are not bowled over by the plans and claim the development will be unsuitable because of the lie of the land.

Mr Hodgetts added: ‘Kings is built on higher ground and to redevelop the site on the scale they are talking about will seriously affect our quality of

life

Other residents said if the plans were pushed through, it would be like living in the middle of an industrial estate.

Niall McCathie, who has lived in Les Croutes for 20 years, reckons the view from his windows will be transformed from a pleasant scene to a modern eyesore.

He said: ‘It would be a very dense development of a site in what is a residential area on the edge of a green zone.

‘What with the increased car movements and pressure on already strained infrastructure, I cannot understand how planning could approve this.

‘We have had no problems with previous developments but this is unacceptable as it will be basically a huge industrial shed.

‘Many residents have lodged their statements [objections] to the planners and we are awaiting an outcome.’

Sporting officials have come out in support of the development and were consulted about the plans.

Rick Denton, the chairman of the Channel Islands Lawn Tennis Association, hoped that the improved facilities would stem the flow of talent leaving the island.

And one of the directors of McCaulay’s, Hadrian Wakeham, said the firm had thought long and hard about the design of the new-look centre.

‘We have worked hard to develop the proposals and we are waiting the outcome from the Environment Department,’ he said.

‘The plans are in keeping with the streetscape and landscape of the area.’

The company chief hopes the centre will bring top sporting talent to the island.

‘As a club we want to encourage new talent and the States are trying to promote this,’ he added.

‘In our opinion it will boost sports tourism and athletes from England and the rest of Europe will be attracted to the island.’