TOWN councillors have expressed some surprise that legal action has been taken which could see Lyme Regis Power Boat Club removed from its Monmouth Beach clubhouse.
The town council has been in discussions with the Power Boat Club to renew its lease for its clubhouse and car parking area on Monmouth Beach.
However, at a recent Strategy & Finance Committee meeting, it was reported that a Section 25 notice had been served on the club by the council’s solicitors, effectively ending its occupation of the clubhouse and parking area if the lease is not signed.
Councillor Jeff Scowen said he was surprised to see the lease had “gone legal and a bit funny” and asked why councillors were not made aware of this earlier.
Town clerk John Wright said the council had agreed its position on the club’s lease some time ago, keeping charges for the clubhouse around the same but increasing charges for its car parking area, similar to the proposed charges for the bowling club lease which have also caused controversy.
He said that meetings had been held with the Power Boat Club but its members “haven’t really responded”. After chasing them up, Mr Wright said the matter was passed to the council’s solicitors to put pressure on them to sign lease, but this had also not been successful.
He said the club had now appointed its own solicitor to deal with the issue, as members did not agree with the council’s proposed increase in charges.
Councillor Derek Hallett expressed concern that he did not know the situation had reached this stage and Councillor Brian Larcombe said he was also surprised, as he thought lease was about to be signed.
However, Councillor Larcombe said that suggestions that all clubs in the Monmouth Beach area should be treated the same were “nonsense”, as they were all completely different and had to be treated individually.
Councillor Scowen added: “I’m just disappointed that it’s gone this way and I realise it’s probably too late but it would have been marvellous if we could have applied the same approach as we have with the bowling club, i.e. members have gone to see them and try to come at it that way.
“I suggest in future we try that option first.”