What next for the vandalised club in Sidley?

It once was the home of three cricket and two football teams, saw locals playing stoolball, pool, or darts, and all age-groups enjoying fun get-togethers, family parties, or popular fundraisers.

But now the building and grounds lie derelict and damaged, and the question has got to be - what’s the future now for Sidley Sports and Social club?

Rumours abound that the property has been sold but nothing has been announced and residents say they have no idea what is happening, while neighbours are afraid of the fire risk and safety issues of the empty premises.

A local mum commented: “The club has been vandalised beyond belief. And local residents are not happy about the lack of security around the site and the total lack of respect the vandals have shown to a once well loved, community sports facility.

No-one knows what is happening with the site and there are lots of rumours that it will be sold to a housing developer and houses built on the land.

All the residents of Sidley want at the moment though is their beloved sports club put to good community use and at the very least, for these vandals to be stopped.”

Former steward Gary Fuller is another resident calling for more information and communication about what is happening.

He commented: “When we left the club it was as normal but having gone back in at the weekend I have to say its been absolutely trashed inside. All the windows have been pulled out, and people have gone in and trashed the inside. It is heartbreaking. So many local people put so much effort into that club when it was open. It is devastating, to be honest.”

However Cllr Jimmy Carroll told the Observer this week that a purchase is being made by a buyer with plans to use it as a landbank - but the process has been held up because of land searches and issues about titles.

Jimmy is hopeful that a deal will be struck to use the property for the benefit of the whole community and feels sure it will be used for housebuilding.