Bramford: Royal British Club set for date at High Court over legal costs
06:02 05 February 2014
A Suffolk Royal British Legion Club is set to go to the High Court in a bid to recover thousands of pounds in costs following a case which had threatened its future.
The Bramford RBL Club is seeking the costs after a district judge ordered it to pay them despite the group successfully defeating Mid Suffolk District Council over a noise dispute.
Mid Suffolk issued the club with a noise abatement noise in 2010 after neighbours argued its Saturday night functions were too loud. But at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in 2012 the judge found that the council had issued the notice three months too late and quashed the authority’s ruling.
Chairman of the RBL group, Roy Clover, said he was “absolutely hopeful” the club would be successful.
“I was very disappointed that the court did not award costs,” he said.
“Everybody in the legion has done their job properly and we have been penalised - I do not think this is right. We are trying to organise a facility for the village which has not got other facilities for entertainment.
“The service that we give the village is unbelievable, the club is a meeting place for older people where people can enjoy themselves. It was a silly situation where it could have all fallen down around our ears.”
Last year Mr Clover said the club’s finances had been “decimated” by its legal action against Mid Suffolk. He said that in his 30 years as member he had “never known” an issue like it.
But the club will not disclose the exact costs it is seeking although Mr Clover did reveal that it is a “five figure sum”.
He added: “If you look at our finances they are virtually based around the viability of a Saturday night, that in actual fact helps pay for a lot of the other nights in a week. I must admit, we do need the money back, we are a charity.”
Work to sound-proof the club has been done at a considerable cost. Mr Clover said that plans to triple insulate the building’s rear windows would get underway when funds were found.
The case is to be heard in the High Court on February 13.