Rye woe over bar closure

Rye Cricket Club is facing a loss of vital income and possible sanctions from the Sussex League after being prevented from using part of its pavilion.

Rother District Council has closed part of the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion at The Salts in Rye
Rother District Council has closed part of the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion at The Salts in Rye

Rother District Council has closed the bar/social areas of the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion at The Salts, although the changing rooms are still open, enabling matches to go ahead.

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “Since taking possession of the clubhouse, it has become apparent that the building erected by the previous owners was completed without obtaining the required building control certificate.

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“This means that the building doesn’t comply with the necessary legislation to allow it to be used by the public, therefore a decision had to be taken to close the bar and upstairs area until such time as the building complies with all necessary building approvals.

“We have allowed the changing rooms to remain in use to ensure that the cricket club can continue to fulfil its fixtures.

“We do understand how keen the club is to have the upstairs part of the pavilion reopened and we are working very closely with them to ensure this can happen as quickly as possible.”

As a result of the partial building closure, the tea interval during Rye’s second team fixture at home to Burgess Hill last weekend turned into something of a picnic.

A Rye Cricket Club statement said: “In the previous week Rye Cricket Club had sought assurances about the building regulations for the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion prior to signing the lease on the building.

“At the meeting Rother decided to close the bar/upstairs areas of the pavilion until modifications were made.

“It leaves only access at present to the changing rooms. A follow up meeting is planned to address the outstanding issues which are the legacy of Rye United FC, but which now rebound onto Rother District Council.

“The key concern for Rye Cricket Club is the loss of income from the bar and any action the Sussex Premier League might take for failing to meet league guidelines.”

Opened in 2012, the pavilion was built with Rye United Football Club money to replace the old Sidney Allnutt Pavilion, which was destroyed by arson in August 2010.

Rye Cricket Club previously hired the building off then fellow ground user Rye United FC during the summer months, but landowner Rother District Council took back possession of the pavilion last September following the football club’s demise.

Rye Cricket Club was this year granted a 99-year lease on the building by the local authority and at the start of the season renamed it the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion.

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