Legal end in sight for Racing Club lease row

Footballers at Racing Club outside the abandoned drill hall
Footballers at Racing Club outside the abandoned drill hall

A County Court judge has 
now ordered the district council to provide a new 
lease to footballers at 
Racing Club Warwick.

The five year battle over the lease at the land off Hampton Road became the subject of a Directions Hearing at the Justice Centre in Leamington on Monday.

Warwick solicitor John Hathaway represented trustees of the football club who took civil action against the district council’s refusal to grant them a new 21 year lease.

Instead, confusion and past management rows led to changing rooms and a bar being demolished in 2009 and the Ministry of Defence building a £5,000 new drill hall for use by air cadets.

The MoD has since abandoned the drill hall, next door to the remains of the clubhouse, after it emerged they had been issued with an invalid lease.

But in a bid to protect their respective positions, the situation still led to the football club paying some £3,600 a year in rent to the district council.

At the same time the MoD were contributing another £3,000 a year - both for a lease on the same site.

Last Friday, just ahead of the civil case, the district council did finally offer a new lease to the football club.

But as negotiations over terms and conditions - and potentially £575,000 in damages continue - the case still went forward to the Directions Hearing.

Mr Hathaway confirmed: “The judge made an order that the new lease would be completed within a certain time frame and this will ensure the continuance and development of Racing Club Warwick.”

Although the judge ordered the matter be resolved within 14 days, it could be up to six weeks before decisions are made on potential compensation and future use of the drill hall. The district council has already agreed to pay the MoD up to £400,000 for a replacement hall, possibly sharing the neighbouring Warwick Show Band site.