Somerton Town Council have “reluctantly” issued a press release on behalf of the Somerton Recreation Ground Trust about the current state of negotiations with the Sports Club which leases facilities from the Trust. This has been a long running dispute dating back to 2013 with regular impassioned interventions at public and council meetings on behalf of both the Club and Trust position.
The Trust are clear that both parties had entered into the current lease when they were not legally able to do so, and claim the point has been confirmed by legal advice. The Trust believe that the new lease offered to the Sports Club at the beginning of March 2013 is fair and reasonable. Under it the liability for all works on the Recreation Ground being met by the Trustee, but with the Sports Club paying a fair rent for their tenancy, the funds being used for the maintenance and improvement of the Recreation Ground site.
After a promising beginning negotiations have reached an impasse. What follows is the Recreation Ground Trust version of the current position:
In December 2016 Greenslade Taylor Hunt were appointed to act on behalf of the Trust to negotiate a lease with the Sports Club. Following a meeting with a representative from the Sports Club draft heads of terms were issued to the Sports Club for consideration in February 2017, with an acknowledgement from the Sports Club secretary that they would be considered in March 2017.
Some progress was made related to the heads of terms with the main areas to be resolved being the annual rental payment and the status of the snooker club in relation to the lease. On 16th June Battens solicitors representing the Sports Club requested a meeting with the trust. The trust were agreeable to this and supplied six possible separate dates over the following month, with the final date of 14th July. As of today no response has been received from Battens or the Sports Club.
The Trust have now passed the resolution of the lease to its Solicitors Weller Hedley.