Park Lane Stables RDA update
The charity Park Lane Stables RDA confirms that, with great regret, it is looking for an alternative location for its operations, after its landlords served a notice of eviction for the end of May 2021 (when the current lease expires).
This has followed a period of discussions which resulted in the charity being asked to pay far in excess of what the property is actually worth according to three independent valuations.
The charity was originally served with an eviction notice on New Year’s Eve 2020 unless it paid the landlords’ £1 million asking price to buy the property. It ran a successful fundraising campaign to raise the money to secure its future, thanks to huge support from the public both domestically and internationally. The total raised, £1.3 million, is also the revised sum the landlord is now demanding.
The trustees of the charity went to great lengths to ensure the integrity of the purchase and to act in the best interests of the people who benefit from its existence. They appointed an experienced solicitor who specialises in buying property for charities and organised three independent valuations of the stables, before making an offer based on the highest valuation.
The trustees have been informed that another offer for the property has been received by the landlord at the higher figure. Park Lane Stables have now been formally asked to leave at the end of the lease unless this alternative offer is matched, and it has been made clear there will be no further negotiation. A PLS request for an extension on the current lease has been denied.
PLS couldn’t legally overpay to such an extent even if they wanted to and therefore are left with no alternative but to find a new location and are committed to doing so. Meanwhile from June 1st they will move to Manor Farm Stables in Petersham, Richmond, on a temporary basis.
PLS is following clear Charity Commission guidelines that say the trustees are responsible for protecting a charity’s money and assets and that the price paid for property should be fair or even discounted which is clearly not the case here.
RDA UK have been kept informed. Ed Bracher, Chief Executive of RDA UK stated: “The priority here is to ensure that the disabled children and adults who benefit from Park Lane RDA’s activities can continue to do so. It is sad that the charity cannot remain at the original site, but we support their work to make sure they can secure an alternative venue from which to operate. This will ensure that they can continue to be a thriving and important local asset”.
A spokesperson for the Park Lane Stables trustees says: “Our first concern is for the Park Lane Stables family and our horses. Thanks to the astonishing support of the public we now have the means to secure the charity’s future and are now looking at alternative locations within the borough, to ensure we can maintain our RDA activities, keep accessibility easy for all our riders, and allow us to retain our colleagues and volunteers. We are confident we can do this but sad we have to leave our current home, which looks set to signal the end of at least 200 years of horses in central Teddington.”