UKRA Announcement: Southview farm, Heckington

Ursa_Major

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It is with regret that we have to announce that we will no longer have
use of any facilities at Southview Farm, Heckington.

The farmhouse has been on the market for some time, and has now been
sold. That in itself does not impact UKRA at all, as we have always been
told by Pete Davy that the house and the UKRA hut were under separate
ownership, and that sale of the house would not affect UKRA's use of the
hut and the yard. We have found out by indirect means that the UKRA hut
and the surrounding yard have been sold off by the owner, Pete Davy. The
sale came to light by way of an offhand comment by the new owner in a
conversation with a member of Council in the week before KLOB2006. The
new owner asked for it to be kept confidential, as Pete Davy had asked
him not to discuss the sale with anyone. The Council member honoured
this confidence until the point that it became apparent that the sale
had completed, and that UKRA had not been informed of the termination of
the tenancy. At that point, the UKRA Council had to be informed, in
order to begin contingency planning.

The new owner is moving his business into the UKRA hut, and will not
countenance allowing UKRA to use it or the yard that he has bought.
Nobody at the farm is willing to discuss the matter, instead requesting
that UKRA contacts Pete Davy to find out what is happening.
Unfortunately, despite many attempts, we have been unable to contact
Pete Davy. We have even written to Pete requesting answers to our
questions regarding the situation. Two weeks after the letter was
delivered and signed for, we have still not had a response to it.

This is a blow to UKRA, as it means the loss of the permanent
headquarters building we have been renting. It does not, however, mean
the end of flying events at Heckington, as we still have good relations
with the local landowners. They are more than happy for us to continue
to use their land to fly from. In the event that land is not available
at Heckington to host UKRA2007, we are also working on plans to use
another site for the event.

To give more background into the loss of the hut, UKRA were not in any
way informed that the sale was being discussed, nor were UKRA offered
the opportunity to buy the building at any point. UKRA have still not
received any form of notification, formal or informal, from Pete Davy
that the hut and yard have been sold, and have not received any notice
to quit the hut. UKRA assets have been moved by people acting on Pete's
instructions from the hut to a storage area without UKRA permission on
or around October 8th. Multiple attempts to contact Pete to discuss the
situation since that point have failed, and so far he has not responded
to messages left for him by multiple people through various channels,
including via his wife.

It has become apparent that the sale of the hut was agreed as long ago
as June 2006, with only a financial hitch on the part of the buyer
delaying the sale long enough to allow KLOB2006 to take place. In all of
this time, members of the Council have been in close contact with Pete
Davy, both through rocketry events and socially, not a word about this
has been spoken by Pete.

We are deeply disappointed at the loss of the hut, and are struggling to
comprehend why we have heard nothing from Pete.

G.
 
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