Boxted Cricket Club to be evicted from clubhouse over building dispute

Boxted Cricket Club have been asked to move out of the nearby club house. They know have to resort t

Boxted Cricket Club have been asked to move out of the nearby club house. They know have to resort to using a garage. Pictured is Chairman Tim Berry. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A parish council has declined to comment on claims it has evicted a cricket club from its home of more than 30 years.

Boxted Cricket Club, which was founded 138 years ago, says it has been made to leave its clubhouse in Cage Lane after Boxted Parish Council gave it less than 48 hours to remove itself from the premises on the grounds of health and safety after finding it held the deeds for the property.

Tim Berry, chairman of the cricket club, believes the club owns the building, which along with Boxted Football Club and Boxted Sport and Social Club, spent around £48,000 to build the property in 1982.

Mr Berry said currently 82 children and 44 adults are part of the cricket club.

He said: “When membership numbers dwindled at the social club, the parish council took on management of the property and paid utility cost bills, splitting it between the clubs.

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“Now we are in a garage with mowers where we have our teas, at our own expense.”

Mr Berry said the cricket club needed to sign a hiring agreement before August 12 in order to use the clubhouse showers and changing rooms, or they will not be allowed to use the facilities or the garages.

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Currently the club is using two gazebos – one for the opposition to change in, and one for the provision of cricket teas. Mr Berry said: “We think we own it but we can’t prove it.

“In an age where children are encouraged to get off their computers and play sport and the Olympic legacy etc, it leaves Boxted Cricket Club with difficult decisions to make.

“We have no money to mount a legal challenge to the ownership of the building and, to be honest, without some kind of divine help, the club will most likely cease to exist after the 2015 season.”

Mr Berry said the club had also emailed the borough council to contest ownership of the building.

The club believes under the new agreement it will cost it on average £428 per home game. Mr Berry said Colchester Borough Council charges £68 to hire a fully prepared pitch with a purpose built pavilion for a match.

He added: “It’s a ridiculous amount of money. It was a lovely little club. We don’t have that anymore.

“In the last instance, if push came to shove and everyone at the next general meeting in October said they wanted to, we would look to alternative arrangements to safeguard cricket and save ourselves money.

“But it won’t be a club.”

Boxted Parish Council said it had no comment on the situation.

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