Clubhouse threatened by health club and spa August 25, 2005

Southgate facing development debate

Cricinfo staff

The Charity Commission has revealed that it is looking into proposals which would involve the demolition of the clubhouse at Southgate, the original home of Middlesex county cricket and one of the venues for currently used by the county. The venue was donated to the local community by the Walker brothers, who were an integral part of Middlesex's early history, in 1855.

The Walker Ground is protected by an old deed which prevents the sale or lease of the land, but the trustees believe that the future of the site would be guaranteed by a deal with a developer which would result in a new health club and spa being built. Enfield Council has also submitted an application which would see the clubhouse renovated and a new gym built on the site of existing squash courts.

The ground's trustees appear to be split, but one of them, Steve Young, told the Enfield Independent that said he believed the Walker brothers would be excited by the plans. "This action will enable the trust to be a viable entity managing a vibrant sporting community for the foreseeable future," he said, "while retaining the predominance of cricket on the ground."