The Leas Club. (build or sell up & sod off)

The Leas Club Folkestone (below) leasehold was sold to Churchgate (Folkestone) Ltd for £3,000,000 (£3 Million) on the 6/05/2008 according to documents lodged at Companies house and the Land Registry.

The lenders were Blackcap Ltd and both companies (Churchgate & Blackcap) share a common shareholder, that being a Mr Brian Myer Shaffer.

The Leas Club is a Listed Building and has been sitting empty and going to rack and ruin for the last eight years.

On Tuesday 25 Nov 2014 Shepway District Council’s development and control committee unanimously agreed to the construction of a seven-storey apartment block, subject to final documents being signed off, above the former Edwardian venue.

Since then nothing whatsoever has happened. This is because Churchgate (Folkestone) Ltd has no money and are no doubt scratching around for a developer. If not, then the site will continue to fall into rack and ruin and again Folkestone will be left waiting for a developer to put their money where their mouth is.

Churchgate’s website has SDC’s logo on it as well as Dover District Council’s too. What is SDC doing to encourage the builder to start building? What if any checks (due diligence) did the do on the company?

The Folkestone Herald have run a couple of stories, one in Nov 14 and another in late April 15.

Since then all has seemingly gone quiet. It is time that the developers began developing the site. If Churchgate (Folkestone) Ltd cannot due to cash flow issues, they should consider selling on the lease to allow a company with money to get on and develop the Leas Club in a way that is sympathetic to the Grade II listed building.

It is time for private companies to take their responsibilities seriously. We the residents of Shepway, do not wish to see a once great building go to rack and ruin. We have waited 15 years for the seafront development to happen, we do not wish to wait another 15 years for the Leas Club to be developed. Please Churchgate either put up the money for the development or sell up and sod off.


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5 Comments on The Leas Club. (build or sell up & sod off)

  1. I once trod the boards here when used as a venue for the FHODS production of Under Milk Wood. It was a fine, and welcoming, building. It could be again with sensitive restoration/development. It seems the current owners are not aquainted with these terms.

    Is it time for Shepway to lean on these owners to either ‘Put up or shut up’ or encourage the current owners to sell-on to another who does have the vision and can restore and incorporate this iconic building within an appropriate development.

    Folkestone has many fine buildings and it would be shameful to erect more of the ‘Sluttish’ structures we have had forced upon us in more recent years. Motel Burstin, Civic Centre to name but two.

  2. Surely if the Leas Club site is or in likely to become a danger to public health then doesn’t SDC have a public duty to put pressure on Churchgate to legally force them to do something (other than just cosmetic repairs etc).

    And how does a derelict building fit into the SDC Local Area Plan then ?

  3. There were recent photos of the inside of The Leas Club & still looks in good condition. I would really like it to be the music/drinking venue it used to be.

  4. It would be interesting to see if Churchgate have these funds reserved and available to progress devlopment of this site. I would suggest not and that their proposals are somewhat ‘Pissing in the wind’.

    What is it about Shepway that they seem incapable to check-out the relevancy of developers claiming to work miracles in our patch. Rocket Science it is not. Simple enquiries on Google will deliver a wealth of information in most instances.

    I would hope to see new proposals, supported by financial evidence, related to this iconic building and future development.


  5. You state that since November 2014 “nothing whatsoever has happened”. One of the conditions prior to construction commencing on the apartment blocks was that 5 units of affordable housing be constructed in Longford Terrace. This has indeed commenced, and is well on it’s way to completion.

    The Folkestone Herald, and the Folkestone & Hythe Express, have both run many articles about the Pavilion and the “Friends of the Leas Pavilion (FLP) in October & November 2015. Much later than those you refer to, and therefore all has not “seemingly gone quiet”. Far from it…..!!

    Finally, it is beneficial for the FLP to be able to work with a developer to the end of achieving restoration, as Heritage Lottery/Enterprise grants require matchfunding – something that can be forthcoming from a developer who has allowed for a budget towards the Pavilion building. Indeed if they were to “sod off” we would be left with a truly hopeless situation.

    If people would like to hear factual information regarding the Pavilion I suggest you look at our Facebook page – “The Leas Pavilion Theatre”. Thank you.

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