A rally against the proposed auction of land at Hartsdown Park which is currently home to sports clubs and a long-standing business has been cancelled.
The plot, which is home to the Falcon and Isle of Thanet boxing and kickboxing clubs, the table tennis club and the prestigious Thanet Taekwondo Club, has been listed to go under the hammer at auction on September 10 following a council decision approved in June to sell off the freehold.
But the Taekwondo unit is now due to be removed from the auction, says the Save Hartsdown campaign group, under instruction that it is to be bought in full by club boss Ted Wolf. The claim comes after a team representing the club mounted a challenge against the auction sale and the decision not to allow a community purchase.
Thanet Taekwondo Club has been at the site for some 25 years and trained champions including former boxer Merdud Takaloo
Also established on site for 18 years is business Fire Technology, whose owner Andrew Hunt is landlord for the boxing clubs and bought Hartsdown House – where Manor House Nursery is based – from the council in 2003.
The proposed sale resulted in the Save Hartsdown campaign, with the aim to halt the auction. A petition raised by the group collected more than 700 signatures.
A Save Hartsdown spokesman said: “This is a major step forward and clearly now sets the precedent for the remaining clubs to achieve the same deal, in essence securing their tenure and continuing enjoyment of the clubs they have worked so hard to establish over many years.
“This is a fantastic result for the community overall and shows just what people power can achieve when we all stand together.”
The protest rally was due to have taken place at Hartsdown House tomorrow evening.
Mr Takaloo, county councillor Barry Lewis, Salmestone association member John Finnegan and organisers of the Save Hartsdown protest group were all due to attend.
Cllr Lewis said: “This is people power achieving a great result.”
The news broke after Thanet council offices closed for the evening. The claim that the site is being removed from auction has yet to be confirmed. A request for a statement has been made.