‘No impact’ on public use of Allhallows if Honiton Rugby Club granted 50-year lease

Honiton Town Council has sought to clarify the situation should East Devon District Council agree to a new 50 years of Allhallows Playing Field with the town’s rugby club. 

The matter, due to be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the town council on Monday, is now the topic of an amended report – circulated to both councillors and the press.

The club currently has eight years to run on an existing lease, but it is proposed that this is surrendered in favour of a much longer term.

A new report confirms that a representative of the town council has now spoken to Rob Harrison, the Property Services Department at the district council.

The updated report states: “He confirmed that the proposed new lease would only give Honiton Rugby Club exclusive use and possession of Pitch No1. He advised that in effect the current lease provided for such use and possession and as such it was EDDC’s view that very little would change in relation to the use of Pitch 1 by the Rugby Club.

“He advised that as the current lease had a remaining term of under 8 years. This prevented the Rugby Club from accessing sources of funding and that the Rugby Club required further security of tenure for the future.

“He accepted that the new lease did not restrict Pitch number 1’s use by the Rugby Club to the traditional rugby season from 1st September to 30th April but advised that the Rugby Club’s usage requirements had changed over the years and as such they needed all year round access to the pitches.”

Importantly, the new, amended report states: “He advised that it was EDDC’s view that there would be no impact on the public’s use of the playing fields as a result of the new lease. The rugby club will not have exclusive rights to Pitch No2. He stated that EDDC did not believe that the proposed lease would lead to any greater risk of access issues for the public to the playing fields, nor would the public’s ability to use the playing fields be
affected in any way.

“Mr Harrison conceded that it would have been helpful if this information had been made public sooner and took on board the Deputy Clerk’s suggestion that even now EDDC should issue details regarding the proposal and the reasons for it to the wider public.”

The extraordinary meeting takes place at The Beehive, Honiton, 7pm on Monday. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak at the start of the meeting.

Police searching for missing Ottery man find a body on Woodbury Common

About Author