I thought the membership of the Club would be interested and ought to know about the status of the possible café toilet showers project at Lydney Harbour.
Firstly, to refresh everyone’s memories as to where we are and what we think might happen.
The Club were approached last autumn to see if we would be interested in sponsoring / managing the project to build and operate a toilet shower, café facility on the site of the old sail loft at the Club. The proposition was that funding would be provided for the facility, that the Club would own the operation and that the improved facilities would be available for the Club to use as its own, but the café and toilets would be available for public use. The new building would be built on two levels with the lower level being “open” to the yacht club but not the public and would be secure and usable by the Club exclusively for wet storage. The top floor would be about 184 square metres comprising a large open plan room plus kitchen and bar facing the dock and river. The building would either be at 90 degrees to the existing club house or carry on the line of the existing club house (180 degrees) into Environment Agency land. The upper floor comprising the café and toilets would be open to the public from the west side entrance only but can be used and reserved exclusively for yacht club functions when required, within reason. Access for yacht club members would be by our own entrance from the yacht club precinct. Commercially we think the café is only viable in the spring and summer months but the Council want it to be open all year round. Access to the toilets will be all year round to members from inside the precinct on he east side and to the public from the west entrance outside the yacht club precinct.
The funding available is £250,000 to £300,000 and is originally European Funds allocated to the Forest of Dean District Council. At the AGM of the Club in October the club Management Committee sought membership approval to progress discussions subject to an EGM if anything definitive arose. This approval was given at the AGM last October 2010.
Since then we have been working with Lydney Docks Partnership which includes the Environment Agency, Inland Waterways, FOD Council and other interested parties to assess the viability of the project and what is basically in it for the Club and the Community. We have assessed income expenditure and capital needs for the project and obtained input on building and design.
This work culminated in a proposal to the Council on the 26th January for interim funding which would allow the Lydney Docks Partnership to conduct some market research to substantiate the viability of the project. At the meeting on the 26th the Council requested further background information and the decision on interim funding was deferred until the meeting in February, scheduled we believe for 23rd February.
Individual members will be asked to vote on the scheme should we get to a funding proposition acceptable to the Council and at that stage a detailed synopsis of what is proposed and what the outcomes might be will be circulated with a proposed resolution to be considered at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club. We would anticipate such a meeting will be in late May, June or July 2011. If the Council are willing and the Club voted to proceed the plan is for the construction to take place through the winter of 2011/12 and the new facility to be ready in the Spring early Summer of 2012.
There are definite advantages and disadvantages of the proposal depending upon your individual point of view. The list below might not be complete and any opinions would be appreciated. This is a Club decision and we believe that members should have the opportunity to discuss the plans at every step of the process before we all have a chance to vote on a proposition if we ever get that far.
New modern toilet facilities for club members and guests / visiting yachtsmen
New modern shower facilities for club members and guests / visiting yachtsmen
The use of a modern large room for club meetings with bar and catering facilities
A new wet storage area beneath the new building
Income from the trading operation equivalent to 10% of turnover (could be £10,000 p.a.)
All at no cost
Possibly some loss of space by the western wall
Building works albeit in the winter of 2011/12
Substantially increased numbers of people in the vicinity of the club (but not in the club precinct)
Increased hassle to manage the business aspects of the café.
As stated, eventually full approval by Club Members will be required before this proposal could proceed. Before then the Committee have to get a proposition in place and agreed with the Forest of Dean Council. During this process the views of all members will be taken into account.
Please would everyone note that the blog and the information on the blog is not intended to be a voting process. Neither is it just a forum for registering approval or disapproval of the concept. What we are looking for are ideas comments and suggestions that the Committee can take into account in progressing / or not, the plan.
These things run through my mind. I’ll bet Eric has it all under control but here they are.
As always with these things there will be unforeseen advantages and many unforeseen problems, some causing rifts in the membership. We need to be prepared for some big guns taking an interest.
Everything in our favour will hopefully be tightly presented and emphasised as being important to our continued approval. We can all see the great leisure and recreation potential of the area of course. There is the usual danger in this, as a development as proposed, can easily lead to things like greater regulation, ie less flexibility for users, and increased pressures for greater financial return.
Are there precedents and rights, including riparian, that need protecting in perpetuity ?
Early days, but the best time to get things right as you suggest as pressures are less.
Hope we are all kept informed !!
Hi Robbie, yes you will be kept informed, hence this blog. Thanks for the suggestions.
As Kevin said, we don’t want this to become a forum for discussion of the proposals. They were put forward at the AGM and will be agreed in proper discussion by an EGM before we go any further. At this time we are simply looking at the viability of a project. Discussion will come afterward. At this stage we are looking for any contributions and ideas.
By the way, the size is roughly the same as the sail loft which fell down. Our first thought was to simply replace that. The existing building is under utilised because it is badly shaped for club use. The showers and toilets are awful and require huge maintenance, the rooms downstairs cannot really be used for anything, the snug is a waste of space. By the time we get it into the shape needed we would need virtually to demolish it and start again. It can hardly be described as beautiful with rotting wooden windows, breezeblock, rusting ironwork and cracks in the walls requiring underpinning etc.
If we can get this funding then we can decide how best to use it to the club’s and the Forest of Dean’s benefit.