Anger over way clo­sure of golf club was han­dled

‘I just couldn’t sus­tain the busi­ness any longer’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Roof Crash Terror - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

saw­illiams@thek­m­group. co.uk Mem­bers of an Ash­ford golf club that shut sud­denly just be­fore Christ­mas say they are an­gry with the way the clo­sure was han­dled.

Home­lands Golf Cen­tre, in Ash­ford Road, ceased trad­ing on Tues­day, De­cem­ber 17 and went into liq­ui­da­tion on Tues­day (De­cem­ber 31).

Owner Anne Lam­ing, who took over in 2006, says she was un­able to sus­tain the busi­ness any longer due to se­vere fi­nan­cial loss.

Mem­bers claim that not only were they not warned that the cen­tre was clos­ing, they have now been left out of pocket.

For­mer Club Cap­tain Phil Nor­ris, 56, said: “The way that the clo­sure has been han­dled by the owner has been poor to say the least.

“Mem­bers re­ceived no no­tice of the clo­sure, ei­ther prior or sub­se­quent to the gates be­ing closed, even though we have paid for mem­ber­ship un­til April 2014.

“Miss Lam­ing’s tim­ing was ex­tremely poor. She chose the worst pos­si­ble time to close the Fol­low­ing the clo­sure, Miss Lam­ing said: “I feel I have put a lot of money and time into the busi­ness, es­pe­cially get­ting the course into such ex­cel­lent con­di­tion.

“The credit crunch of 2008 and 2009 hit us badly and we’ve had some very bad weather. I just couldn’t sus­tain the busi­ness any longer.

“I am very sad, dis­tressed and sorry that I’ve had to busi­ness, mak­ing the staff re­dun­dant with no pay for the month of De­cem­ber and just prior to Christ­mas.”

Hand­i­cap and com­pe­ti­tions sec­re­tary, Andy Thick, said: “We knew the club had prob­lems but we didn’t see this com­ing.

“There were no dis­cus­sions with mem­bers in the weeks lead­ing to the clo­sure.

“We’ve all ob­vi­ously lost out, as our an­nual mem­ber­ship was paid up un­til March.”

The cen­tre in Kingsnorth, which cov­ers around 53 acres, has a nine-hole course with 18 come to this de­ci­sion. I was hop­ing to sell the busi­ness as an on­go­ing in­ter­est.

“Most mem­bers have been very un­der­stand­ing and sym­pa­thetic and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that. I’m very sad for the staff, mem­bers and pa­trons and I hope they un­der­stand I have done my best to keep it go­ing.”

Bretts Busi­ness Re­cov­ery, of Gravesend, will be act­ing as liq­uida­tors. tees, and a driv­ing range. It had around 150 mem­bers un­til it closed last month.

It is be­lieved that some five or six mem­bers of staff lost their jobs.

Peter Wil­liamson, a mem­ber for three years, said he was not sur­prised the club had closed.

“I could tell some­thing was

For more in­for­ma­tion email com­mit­tee mem­ber Andy Thick at ash­ford­seag­ulls@ya­hoo.co.uk or com­mit­tee mem­ber Andy Rogers on andy@ajrscuba.fs­net. co.uk go­ing to hap­pen,” he said. “I have seen a lot of mem­bers leave over the last three years.

“Golf clubs will strug­gle if the weather is bad. The greens need to be kept in ex­cel­lent con­di­tions and we’ve had two very bad win­ters.”

An ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing (EGM) will be held at Gi­vau­dan UK, in Ken­ning­ton Road, on Jan­uary 18 at 7pm for all for­mer mem­bers. The evening will see the club’s tro­phies handed out to mem­bers, the di­vi­sion of any out­stand­ing funds and will in­clude en­ter­tain­ment.

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