New premises appeal for Budleigh Cadets

The clock is ticking for a youth group in Budleigh Salterton, which has until the end of October to find new premises.

The Budleigh branch of the Devon Army Cadet Force said it has to leave its drill hall by the end of the month because the lease runs out on the building.

The cadets claim they have been ‘backed into a corner’ by land owners Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) doubling the rent.

CDE said it was approached by Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association a year ago with a request to buy the land, but the deal fell through because of a lack of funds.

A spokesman for CDE said the association had told them it would relocate to Exmouth – the ‘preferred location’.

She said: “There have been no negotiations about a future lease or rent.

“A price for the land and the building was negotiated with Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association but, in August this year, they withdrew from the deal due to lack of funds.

Most Read

“The 99-year lease of the land for use by cadets began on September 29, 1912. At the end of that commercial lease term, the land reverts back to the landlord, CDE.

“CDE understands that Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association are demolishing the building and reinstating the land before the end of this year.”

Cadet Executive Officer Warwick Saunders said he understood the group had been offered a rent deal, which had increased by almost double from �10,000 a year to �17,000.

He said the land had been offered for sale, with a figure discussed at around �150,000-�170,000.

He said the ‘exorbitant’ rent increase had forced the search for new premises where the group of up to 50 young people, plus volunteers, could drill for two hours, twice a week.

A hall for inside activities and space to securely store paperwork was also required.

Mr Saunders said: “It’s a bit of a shame we have got to this state of affairs. I think we have somewhat been backed into a corner at the 11th hour.”

Adult instructor Marcia Paton said: “The cadets are all devastated. Some of them have been going there for three or four years.

“Hopefully we will get something quite quickly so we don’t lose any cadets.

“Change is a big thing for children. Some of the children who come are disabled and change can be difficult for them.”

Can you help the cadets with their premises problem? Contact CEO Saunders on (01392) 256251.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter