Mike Corby former owner of the Lambs site and whose Lambs Club is now a short term tenant on the site, has sold his family owned Fitness
Exchange Group to Fitness First.
This gives the lie to earlier contentions by the planners and developers that Lambs members would be accommodated at other clubs in the Corby chain. The chain is now non existent. Clan's claims are hollow.
read on... and here...
How fast things change this was his thinking in 2003 see http://www.citytext.com/doc16a.html
Fitness Exchange Health and fitness clubs. The Fitness Exchange, a group of ten health and fitness clubs located mainly in London's affluent Square Mile, is considering a flotation. The clubs, half of which have been branded " Fitness Exchanges" , boast a total of nearly 20,000 members and are located at prime sites including London Bridge, Fenchurch Street and Broadgate. The Fitness Exchange's owner, Mike Corby ,the former England squash and hockey captain, has also stated that he is in talks with various parties including venture capitalists and other fitness clubs who have voiced an interest in either buying his company outright or taking an equity stake in it. Other competitors in the area include: Holmes Place, Fitness First, Vardon and the Broadgate Club.Type of issue: To be announced Date: 2003 Market capital at issue: £20m approximately
Clan lodges appeal:
Islington advised by
letter of 13 December 2005 that Clan lodged an appeal with the Office
of the Deputy Prime Minister against " non determination" of
planning application P052334. This move adds to the pressure on the local
authority to determine the application in favour of the applicant given that
appeals can be costly affairs. The non determination appeal will be dealt
with by Public Inquiry, now scheduled for 10.00 on September 5, 2006 at
the Islington Town Hall, Upper Street.
Deadline for objecting to
the second planning application submitted by the developer, was November 7,
2005 . Clan seeks to demolish and redevelop the Lambs site and lodged TWO
amended applications with Islington planning authority, (references 052334
and P052310). Players, supporters and Club members raised funds and
commissioned reports from two independent consultants to rebut the arguments
advanced by the developers (see below and elsewhere on this site).
A total of 635 objections to (across both applications P052310 and P0524334 )
were lodged with Islington by Lambs members, supporters, the
wider squash community, statutory consultees
and local residents by the November 7, 2005 deadline. Of this
final count at least 206 were copied to us. This is an
excellent response and sends a resounding message. We had aimed to double the
200 we got last time. In fact you more than trebled it. Very well done
and thank you all. (See related press coverage)
Note Islington planners now say they only accepted 307 letters of
objection for both applications P052310 and P0524334 because " it was found
that quite a number of letters/emails were received in duplicate, the
duplicate letters/emails were removed from the overall count" .
(The duplicates were clearly due to less than clear instructions on
Islington website about how to object. For our part we consider any
" duplicates" were genuine expressions of opposition and we maintain
the 635 count initially
indicated to us by Islington.)
a US website,
attacks Sport England, London's role and UK's position in
world squash " Cacaphony" here, The author, one Martin Bronstein, is well know for erratic and colorful if fanciful reporting.
The reality as we have pointed out to Mr Bronstein is: The tally among the top 50 players in the PSA World
Rankings for Men's, November 2005 is 14 English 1 Scottish 2
Welsh 1 Irish, 4 Canadian, 0 US. Of these top 50
players, at least 12 have regularly used Lambs courts for training. In
the WISPA World Rankings for Women, July 2005, of the top 20 players, 9 were
England players, 0 from the Americas. (source SquashTalk) The
Brit Insurance Super Series Finals have been held for the past 6 years
at Broadgate Arena, London. The ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic in London,
in February 2006, will be a 5 Star PSA World Ranking event
Lambs county teams: active and performing
well see latest Middlesex League Tables
Department for Culture, Media and Sport views:
" It is always
disappointing when any sports facility is threatened with closure,
particularly those which have played a central role in national and
international sport, like Lambs Squash Club....I am pleased that Lambs Action
Team is continuing to work with Sport England in impressing the need for
sports provision upon Islington Borough Council...." -Tom Powell,
Central Information and Briefing Unit Sports Desk Policy Officer.
tasked with developing and expanding squash, finally (January 24th 2006),
came out against the loss of the club. We welcome this. ES earlier
responded less than enthusiastically to members who had asked for backing.
After much behind the scenes discussion ES executives finally came to the view that the loss of the 9 court facility offered by Lambs and the breadth and depth of the amateur and professional squash played there would be a major disaster for the national game. The chief executive delivered a number of highly supportive letters urging Islington Planning Authority to refuse the planning application.
Earlier a motion submitted to England Squash’s annual meeting on November 5, 2005 calling
for Mike Corby to step down as president of the governing body because of a
conflict of interest was not carried. Mike Corby told the
AGM that in the interest of transparency and openness he wished to read the
motion even though it did not meet statutory regulations for submission. He
then read selected parts and persuaded the meeting that he was the injured
party. It became clear from the tenor of discussion that the meeting was not
of a mind to remove him. Read the full motion
Here is how Islington planning
authority viewed the loss of the
sports amenity when it refused the first application:
" The existing sports facilities on site contribute to the character and
liveliness of the area and play an important role in the Borough and the
wider area in the provision of indoor sports facilities. The proposal would
therefore result in a loss of facilities contrary to Policies R18 and ST8 of
Islington's Unitary Development Plan 2002. The proposal would also be
contrary to policy 3D.5 of the London Plan 2002 and to PPG17."
The second Clan application submitted in November 2005 failed
adequately to address the key issue of the loss of Lambs sporting
facility. Players, members and the larger squash community filed 635
objections clearly demonstrating the hollowness of Clan's efforts to prove
there is no demand for this Squash Club on the present site or in the area. They
made their views heard, loud and clear.
Queens Tennis Club (Read here), North
Herts Leisure Centre (Read here), Batchwood
Leisure Redevelopment Proposals (Read here) and Lambs -
all fighting similar battles Squash can only progress as a sport if courts
are available, let's back all efforts to stop developers/councillors
that think otherwise ...
Some highlights from the successful campaign
to block the first application:
news - planning and other arguments helpful in filing objections and lobbying
can be found here
Minister for Sport concern and Sport England objection: Sport England
formal objection . here
Islington refused developers first application to demolish Lambs:
The determination was made May 10, 2005. Among reasons for refusal - design
of the proposed scheme standard of the proposed residential units within the
scheme impact on neighbouring properties setting of the adjacent listed
building and the loss of sports facilities. The loss of the Squash Club as a
reason for refusal was considered at length ... (as) this issue is not
clear cut in terms of the Council's policies. However having considered
our polices, those of the London Plan and the national planning guidance
PPG17 (recreation and leisure), it was considered that a reason for refusal
along these grounds could be sustained. Further weight was given to
this reason for refusal by the receipt of 200 letters of objection,
including letters from Sport England and the Corporation of London (as
an adjoining Borough). Full refusal document
The First Campaign
INFO - Native Land – Buccleuch Property here,
Lambs Club and Jahangir Khan are key to the " Squash for the Olympic Games 2012" campaign: Read
BLOG Talk to us *****
Got a good idea?
Response to Lambs Member from Mayor of London re latest planning applications
you for your email of 17 October to the Mayor. It has been forwarded to
me to reply on his behalf. Whilst I sympathise with your concerns about
the proposed development, I am afraid that we are unable to assist you
with this matter. The Mayor only has planning powers over applications
of 'strategic' importance to London as defined by the Town and Country
Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2000. The development to which you
refer is not strategic. I am afraid the Mayor cannot get involved in
it. However, having spoken to Islington Council, I am aware of a
re-submission for 25 October. If this re-submission differs greatly
from the original, it may then present strategic issues on which the
Mayor must be consulted. If that is the case, the Mayor will consider
all relevant information, including any objections, when making his
decision whether or not to direct refusal. I will be placing your email
on file in the event that the application is referred to us. I am sorry
that we are unable to assist you with this matter at this point in time.
Yours sincerely, Leah Barbee Administration Officer Planning Decisions
Howard J Green FRICS lodges formal objection to first application
Surveyor and Planning Consultant Howard Green April 7 lodged a formal
planning objection, on substantial grounds, with the Director of
Planning, London Borough of Islington. Howard, a long time former
squash player himself, was instructed by Lambs Action Team
To read the objection register.
Planning objection invoice
Thank you to 36 members and supporters who stumped up enough to meet the bill!
Councillor Jyoti Vaja representing Islington Bunhill Ward is prepared
to pass on arguments against redevelopment particularly when these
contain references to planning reasons - Here - and valid views of members/residents:
email Councillor Jyoti Vaja:
Tel - 020 7527 2986 (PA)
Earlier news here
Your squash club is to be....
Member Peter Littler reacted:
Don't do it - an email from Mexico
Have Your Say on a Planning...
DON'T WE KNOW IT
HERE ARE CONCERNS TO...
ISLINGTON COUNCILLOR'S VIEW:
Battle Site note:
LOBBY LOBBY LOBBY:
Lobby the local MP
Lobby Emily Thornberry,Labour
Lobby Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP Minister of State for Sport
Tel: 020 7211 6200 Fax 0207 211 6319
Lobby Ken Livingstone Mayor of London
Tel: 020 7983 4100 Fax: 020 7983 4057 cc the team
Survey: How much would you pay per month to belong to a refurbished, upgraded members-owned New Lambs Club?:
1. £45/month 2. £55/month 3. £65/month 4. £70/month 5. £50/month plus additional court/gym/class charges
Lambs photo gallery ... Activities and world players at an active club (updated)
Here for ongoing press coverage (updated)
Lobby: Email local authorities, MPs, Ministers..
Islington Lib Dem Councillor for Bunhill Ward, Jyoti Vaja here Lord Mayor and Corporation of London here Islington South parliamentary candidates: Labour Emily Thornberry Lib Dem Bridget Fox Conservative Melanie McLean Minister of State for Sport here Lord Coe of London Olympics 2012 bid here Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London here Jennette Arnold, Labour, London Assembly lead member for 2012 Olympic bid here John Biggs, Labour, London Assembly member for City of London here Mark Field, Conservative, Central London Group includes City of London here (cc the team)
Labour-held Islington South is a marginal seat - make your voice heard over the next three weeks
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