Bramford: Royal British Legion club seeks thousands of pounds in battle to win legal costs in Judicial Review

Members of the Bramford Royal British Legion outside South East Suffolk Magistrates Court last year

Members of the Bramford Royal British Legion outside South East Suffolk Magistrates Court last year

A ROYAL British Legion club is seeking thousands of pounds in costs in a judicial review after their finances were “decimated” in a legal battle with a Suffolk council.

The Bramford RBL Club successfully fought a noise abatement order in a court case against Mid Suffolk District Council last June, but the charity was ordered by the district judge to pay huge fees in legal costs.

The chairman of the 500-strong club, which was formed in 1926, said they had increased their fundraising efforts because of the “frightening” cost of the measures taken to reduce the noise.

Chairman Roy Clover said: “Thousands of pounds have been spent – nearly £10,000 on noise experts. We have had bills which some of have been for £1,500 – you get frightened every time. With the finances available we have done and are doing as much as we can. The sound insulation has improved the situation.

“We are a charity and any profit we make is put back into the club. Our rainy day fund is decimated. We have actively started fundraising soon after the case to try and recover some of the funds. Our generous members have donated money here and there and fundraising through the year has generated money to try and get the finances back up to scratch.

“We are keeping a tight eye on our finances. I have been a member for coming up to 30 years and I have never known an issue like it.”

The club’s legal representative, Richard Tinkler of Tinkler Solicitors, described the costs as a “significant” five-figure sum. He said as well as recovering the costs he was seeking to overturn the district judge’s ruling that the club should have done more to improve their measures to cut sound coming from the venue.

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Mid Suffolk served the noise abatement notice in 2010 after neighbours argued its Saturday night functions were too loud.

But the district judge said the notice had been served three months too late and quashed the council ruling.

Mr Tinkler said Mid Suffolk is opposing the costs claim made by the club. Last night the council was unavailable to comment on the case.

The review is due to be heard in the High Court on February 13, 2014.

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