05:00PM, Wednesday 19 October 2016
An historic club is desperately searching for a new home after the council said it has three months to leave its current site.
Maidenhead Target Shooting Club, based in Braywick Park, was told by the Royal Borough on Tuesday its lease will end in January.
The club, which has been open for more than 100 years, is now looking for a new home or it may face closure.
Martin Bicknell, chairman of the club, said: “We have been at our site in Braywick Park more than 40 years and we have developed class facilities including both a 50m and a 100-yard open air range.
“We have 130 members, some are competitive shooters, others do it for leisure and we also have groups like the scouts that come in and use the facility.
“The council’s plans for redevelopment of the site leave us homeless. They said they would help us find another site, but the only site we were shown was in BCA, which had a no guns policy.”
The club can trace its roots back to at least 1907 and was set up in answer to the rallying call of Lord Roberts of Kandahar in an effort to improve the nation’s shooting skills after the Boer War.
It is appealing for anyone with land that may be suitable for a new home for the club.
Mr Bicknell said: “An acre or two of agricultural land would be ideal, we wouldn’t need planning permission as it’s just temporary structures.”
The council has confirmed that the site will be used for a new school building [see below].
A spokesman said: “It has so far proved difficult to provide or source an alternative site for the rifle club who are coming to the end of their 10-year lease because, as you would expect, they have very specific requirements.
“We would urge any private landowners who can assist and provide a suitable location to come forward.”
“As we continue to regenerate Maidenhead we are looking at moving the Magnet Leisure Centre to Braywick Park and we have had initial discussions about placing a school within the site.
“These are initial discussions and there needs to be further work carried out.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help the club.
Forest Bridge School could be moving to a new site in Braywick Park.
The free school that serves children with autism is currently based in the former Oldfield School building in Chiltern Road.
In March 2015, the Advertiser reported the school would be building a new site atBCA in Burchetts Green, but the move has fallen through.
Jo Haswell, vice chair of governors at the school, said: “BCA is greenbelt and has heritage buildings so the planning was complicated and protracted.
“We have a school that is phenomenal and we have 20 families on the waiting list that we just don’t have the space for.
“There is a real sense that we need to do this and expand quickly so we can help those children who need the support.
“The council found this site in Braywick Park and negotiations are currently taking place.
“It’s a great location, it’s central and has good transport links.”
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