RED TAPE which has delayed the building of new sports facilities in Codnor could soon be sorted after four years.
Codnor Charitable Sports Trust received planning permission to build a new pavilion on the site of the former Miners’ Welfare, off Goose Lane, but attempts to raise funding have been stymied because it cannot sign a lease on the land until a small strip near the entrance has been bought from Alfreton-based Briar Estates Ltd.
The Coal Industries Welfare Organisation (CISWO), which owns the rest of the site, has so far failed to acquire the 4ft wide pathway that provides access for vehicles.
But now, chief executive Vernon Jones has said CISWO is prepared to issue an interim lease which would allow funding applications to go forward.
Mr Jones said: “We are disappointed that we haven’t heard back from Briar Estates. Our solicitors wrote to them in June. If we can’t buy this land we will have to amend the planning application so the vehicular access can go over it.”
Trustee Alan Colledge said: “This has been a four-year struggle since the Welfare closed. We have no adequate changing rooms – instead we have two portable cabins. We use a bungalow at the back of the site for toilets and serving interval teas, but there are no showers.”
Applications to Derbyshire FA, Sport England and the Coalfields Regeneration Fund for funding towards the projected £150,000 cost of the build cannot be processed until the lease is signed.
Cllr Chris Emmas-Williams said: “This will hopefully bring to an end the difficulties.
But in a further setback, one of the portable cabins was burned down in an arson attack on Sunday night, which also damaged the other cabin beyond repair.
They are used by football and cricket teams and there was equipment inside them.
Mr Colledge said: “It is just mindless.”
The plans for a new facility include dressing rooms for teams and officials, showers, toilets, disabled facilities as well as a function room for presentations.
The 3rd Codnor Scout Group, which took over the former steward’s bungalow in May, has received £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. It ill be used to connect an electricity supply and improve the building for the youngsters to use.