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Unity on plans to save the Pegasus Club
11:02am Friday 17th August 2012 in News
POLITICIANS have vowed to help stop developers moving in on the threatened Pegasus Club in Corringham.
Thurrock councillors, Conservative MP Stephen Metcalfe, and Baroness Angela Smith, were among those who met at the sports and social club, in Herd Lane, on Tuesday night to offer the club their ideas and advice.
The club, owned by Petroplus, which plunged the Coryton Oil Refinery into administration, is now one of the assets being managed by Pricewaterhousecoopers.
It has offered the club, which is completely self-sufficient, a lease until November 2013, but it has yet to be signed.
Manager, Martin Hathaway, said PWC had informed them there are a “number of interested parties” who had registered an interest in buying the club.
Thurrock Council’s Labour leader John Kent said: “The club is on green belt land, that doesn’t mean that nobody can ever build on it, but it does set a hurdle extremely high.
“Any sports facilities that are lost must be replaced somewhere else in the locality.
“There would need to be very special circumstances for removing this site, and frankly, I don’t think anybody could come up with a circumstance so special.”
The club’s executive committee are hoping the prospect of having to replace the vast array of sports facilities in the 22 acres of the Pegasus’ grounds, will put the majority of the interested parties off.
It is home to nine cricket teams, six football sides, two rugby teams, 60 members of a bowls club, three darts teams, a gymnasium, and a fishing lake. It also has floodlight tennis courts.
Mr Hathaway told the meeting that the club is planning to look into the Government’s community right to buy scheme, which seeks to give residents the opportunity to take over assets which are important to their community.
It works by nominating the asset to be listed with the local authority, and then the community can bid for it when it is put up for sale.
Phil Anderson, the leader of the Conservative opposition, said: “It’s great there’s complete political unity around this.
“We have found out some of the issues around community right to buy, which is very new legislation.
“It appears the council has a real part to play in nominating an asset.
“One that’s happened, you then have a statutory right to come up with a community alternative to the sale.
“It doesn't give you a preferential right to buy, but it does give you a seat at the table, and it creates more hurdles fort he buyer to get over, because it delays things.”