Revamp is on the cards for fire-hit club

AFTERMATH The scene after the crash atEmsworth Sailing Club                     Picture: Malcolm Wells (141203-0008)
AFTERMATH The scene after the crash atEmsworth Sailing Club Picture: Malcolm Wells (141203-0008)
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A SAILING club ravaged by fire after a car crashed into it is poised for major refurbishments.

Emsworth Sailing Club has submitted plans to repair the damage after the car smashed into one of its walls and burst into flames.

The incident in April caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the northern section of the building, but the rest of the clubhouse was not affected.

Officials have now drawn up plans to give the club a new lease of life, with an extension to create a new multi-functional room, a new entrance way and a new disabled toilet.

The cost of the work, not including the insurance payout following the fire, is estimated to be between £80,000 and £90,000.

Club Commodore Chris Clode said: ‘We are just taking the opportunity while the repairs are going on to do some betterment.

‘While the builders are there, we are going to extend the north room out by a couple of metres to give us more space.

‘We are going to completely refurbish the entrance hall to make it wider.’

The fire was a big blow after around £500,000 was spent last year on refurbishments.

But Dunkirk spirit helped to get the Bath Road club back on its feet, with more than 50 members helping to clean up smoke-stained crockery, cutlery, glassware and silverware.

Cdre Clode said: ‘Having spent last year on a big redevelopment and then to have a redevelopment again this year, it’s been slightly trying.

‘We look forward to it all being finished and the club fully up and running in February or March.’

Subject to approval by Havant Borough Council, the work should start in the second half of October.

The police investigation is on-going.

An 82-year-old man from Emsworth was arrested on suspicion of arson. A police spokesman said: ‘No charges have been brought at this stage.’