Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Online petition to Save Lambs Squash Club London

We the undersigned note that a developer is seeking to demolish Lambs Squash Club in London, which is widely recognised as a centre of squash excellence, a training and playing club known world-wide and a squash facility critical to the current drive to further develop and extend the game of Squash.
The 9 courts available at this club, close to the City of London, are heavily used both by a dedicated and enthusiastic squash playing community and by national and international players of world renown.
The club is simply the largest facility available inside the M25 and probably in the entire south-east. It is an irreplaceable asset in a country which excels in the number of squash players that are currently top ranked in the world.
The loss of this club will be permanently damaging to the future of Squash at a time when London is to host the 2012 Olympics.
We call on you to intervene directly and expropriate this unique facility turning it over to the squash community in perpetuity.

The petition will be sent to the Minister of State for Sport
at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Please support it by visiting our website downloading the petition on the homepage and emailing it to the Minister. Add your Full Name, Address, Mobile and email.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Members - wise up!

It may seem hard to believe but many Lambs members are still unaware of the impending extinction!
It is vital that as many people as possible know.
Could everyone playing in the leagues send an email letting fellow league players know? (remember to cc organiser@save-lambs-squash-club)
Don't forget all users of the club are affected whether you exercise in the gym, frequent the change rooms, use other club amenities, lunch socially, enjoy a drink etc.
Please talk about it with everyone and help us to save OUR club!
And keep the objections flooding into the council! Remember the deadline for them is Thursday 7th April!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Lobby Islington Councillors

A Lambs club member reports that he briefed Islington Councillor Jyoti Vaja at her weekly surgery near Lambs Club Islington on April 1 about the detrimental impact and effects of the planned demolition of an important sports facility in the borough. The councillor was, he says, generally sympathetic to the views expressed. These focused on the Council's own declared policies of preserving and expanding sporting facilities in the area for the community. The councillor confirmed she was happy to speak out at Council on the Lambs issue and likewise when the planning application comes before the planning committee for decision!

Lobby the councillor by email -
jyoti.vaja@islington.gov.uk

Tell Islington why Lambs must be saved

cc: organiser@save-lambs-squash-club.co.uk

Friday, April 01, 2005

Response from Islington Planning Control

Here's the response members are currently receiving from Islington Planning Control, keep those objections rolling in either online via our battle site or direct by email to Kevin Henson:
Development.Control@islington.gov.uk

Kevin Henson
020 7527 2962NORTH/SOUTHTeam
Quoting Application: P050441
Your ref:1 April 2005

Dear Sir or Madam,

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING 1990
Full Planning Application
1, Lamb's Passage, Islington, London, EC1Y 8LE
Demolition of existing building and erection of basement, ground plus 9 storey residential (C3) building containing 122 units with office (B1) use on part of ground floor, associated public realm improvements and other works incidental to the redevelopment of the site.

I acknowledge receipt of your letter concerning the above proposal. Should you wish to discuss any concerns you have raised you can contact the case officer on the above telephone number.

All valid planning concerns that you have raised in your letter will be reported when the application is considered. I will write to you again in the event of significant changes being made to the application.

The application will be determined either under delegated powers or it will be reported to a Committee for decision, depending mainly on the type of proposal and the nature of any objections. If the application is reported to a Committee I will inform you of the date of the meeting. You will also be notified of the decision once it has been made.

Finally you should be aware that Islington Council operates an open file policy and that your letter will be placed on the relevant file and be available for public inspection.

Yours faithfully,

Kevin Henson

Case Officer
APAS/467/NBR3letter

Exchange with Islington Council

Some exchanges with Islington council RE: Closure of Lambs Squash Club

FROM Islington:
I agree with your comments about the above closure, as it is always sad to see a sports facility close. Unfortunately the closure of the health club you have mentioned is out of our control for the following reason:

a) The property is privately run by the Fitness Exchange Group who lease the building from a private company. It is the private company who are terminating the lease and are selling the building on which is causing the club to close.

I can however tell you that Islington Council does have an excellent squash facility nearby with affordable prices based within Finsbury Leisure Centre, Norman Street. EC1V 3PU. For further information please call 020 7253 2346.

RESPONSE by Lambs member after some investigation:

...I have spoken at length to a Finsbury Leisure Centre representative at the Finsbury club, and also to a representative of it’s sister club, in addition an over-arching membership representative:

· It would seem that there are collectively, between the clubs 12 courts available, each with 5 (x5) weekday slots and 10(x2) weekend slots, accommodating 660 people to play twice a week.
· The current total membership headcount of these clubs is of the order of 24,800 ,5000 of whom use the squash facilities. If we assume at a conservative estimate that only half these players are regular players (play twice per week), we would see that the clubs are already very heavily (and probably over) subscribed for squash. This was evident when talking directly to the clubs who mentioned that peak hour booking saturation was great.
· Given that Lambs has 1500 members, of whom 800 are regular players, playing at a conservative estimate twice a week, we can see that the facilities mentioned would be under enormous pressure to cope with the load of the additional squash demand, to the detriment of current members of these clubs. Indeed, it would not appear feasible.

I appreciate the time you have taken to reply ... and hope this will clarify why it is imperative that this matter should be investigated further.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Let's hear from you!

Mike Corby who built Lambs Club on its present site in 1979 and owned the freehold until its recent sale, told BBC LONDON 94.9 March 30: "I know the developers, they are good people ... if we can raise cash we can have a discussion with them..maybe buy it back or get them to include a squash club in the redevelopment....".

So lets hear from club members, supporters, squash players, will you help to buy it back? He sold it for £4 million...