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Purchase of flying land

BMFA club legal status

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Mark Adams 309/09/2018 17:33:34
5 forum posts

My local BMFA registered flying club has been given the option to purchase the land that we fly on from the local council. The price is good and affordable. The council will sell the land anyway even if we decide to stay as tenants and then our future will be less certain.

My question is: Do any other BMFA registered clubs "own" their land or do you have to become a trust, company etc for Land Registry purposes?

Technically the land would be owned by all of its members and not a single individual. There is also the problem of who owns the land should the Club dwindle and disband.

Unfortunately, the BMFA does not wish to offer any advice.

Any examples of current ownership would be grateful.

Mark

J D 810/09/2018 09:07:12
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1197 forum posts
74 photos

I can not answer all your questions but I am surprised the BMFA has not replied, When was the question asked?

As to what happens to club assets in the event of that club folding this should be covered in the club constitution.

Levanter10/09/2018 09:49:58
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878 forum posts
436 photos
Posted by J D 8 on 10/09/2018 09:07:12:

I can not answer all your questions but I am surprised the BMFA has not replied, When was the question asked?

As to what happens to club assets in the event of that club folding this should be covered in the club constitution.

Mark didn't say the BMFA has not replied. He said the BMFA does not wish to offer any advice which is understandable as this would be a matter for professional legal advice.

Sounds like a great opportunity but I would suggest the members consult a suitably experienced solicitor and decide which arrangement suits them best.

Levanter

chris Bond - Bondaero10/09/2018 09:53:35
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127 forum posts
53 photos

Put the land in a small company and have the club rent the land from that company thus protecting the asset(s)

Also make the purchase contract subject to planning if you do not currently have planning

Former Member10/09/2018 10:07:09
1322 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Mark Adams 310/09/2018 10:07:26
5 forum posts
Thanks for all replies.
The BMFA was approached by a club member at the recent Nationals so its second hand info. But the gist was that it wasn’t their remit. Shame, as I would have put them down as the beneficiary in the event of the club folding.
The “Company” route would involve setting up company accounts, accountancy fees and annual returns etc. At the moment the club treasurer just has to balance the account each year with no scrutiny.
We will be taking legal advice as part of the conveyance process, but I was wondering if anyone else was in a similar situation.
Thanks. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Tony Bennett10/09/2018 12:58:10
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5074 forum posts
129 photos

our club owns their field and two more either side of it.

i have sent you a PM

 

Tony B

Edited By Tony Bennett on 10/09/2018 13:12:21

John Lee10/09/2018 13:08:43
644 forum posts
47 photos

Mark, I think you are doing the BMFA an injustice. They publish the following guidance under the 'Club Support' section of their Website on page 10 of the publication 'Flying Site Guide' I'd suggest that you should read the document in full & your Committee formally approach the BMFA rather than listen to 'second hand info'

"A LIMITED COMPANY should be formed to buy the flying site and to oversee its operations. You will need advice from a solicitor on how to proceed."

Edited By John Lee on 10/09/2018 13:09:55

Mark Adams 310/09/2018 13:31:02
5 forum posts

Thanks John. I will pass on the info, although the section on Purchasing Land is rather basic. Tony has given me a link to a club who own their own site. I will contact them directly.

Bucksboy10/09/2018 14:59:38
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557 forum posts
106 photos

Chesham model flying club own their own field too, they seem very happy with it. If you need a second opinion, contact them and ask their advice. I’m not a member so cannot answer any questions about it.

Andy Symons - BMFA10/09/2018 18:49:30
481 forum posts
1 photos
The BMFA are more than happy to offer advice. Drop an email to andy@bmfa.org and I will reply. Not until next week though as I am on holiday at the moment.
Mark Adams 310/09/2018 18:54:07
5 forum posts

Thanks Bucksboy. I might drop them a line.

Thanks also for your post Andy. Will do. I'm off this week too...

Nick Lewis 110/09/2018 20:20:02
4 forum posts
Posted by John Lee on 10/09/2018 13:08:43:

Mark, I think you are doing the BMFA an injustice. They publish the following guidance under the 'Club Support' section of their Website on page 10 of the publication 'Flying Site Guide' I'd suggest that you should read the document in full & your Committee formally approach the BMFA rather than listen to 'second hand info'

"A LIMITED COMPANY should be formed to buy the flying site and to oversee its operations. You will need advice from a solicitor on how to proceed."

Edited By John Lee on 10/09/2018 13:09:55

It's worth pointing out that the advice to form a limited company is in the paragraph that relates to financing the purchase by means of a mortgage, not the paragraph where a club has or can raise funds and so pay "cash". I wouldn't presume to second guess the author's motives for drafting the section in that way, but one obvious advantage would be to protect individual members' personal finances if the mortgage fell into default for whatever reason.

Martin Harris11/09/2018 00:26:51
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8676 forum posts
214 photos

Our club "owns" its field.

"Owns" is in inverted commas as I understanding, from a totally unqualified perspective, is that in law, a club cannot own land. In our case, the land was originally purchased in the names of 2 trustees appointed by the club to oversee its interests and manage any financial matters relating to the land.

An "interesting" situation was avoided many years later when it was realised by the then current committee that one of the trustees had passed away and the other was no longer a member of the club! Fortunately, he was tracked down and signed over a deed of conveyance to 4 newly appointed trustees.

We instigated some checks and balances whereby the trustees report to the committee/AGM annually that they are all still members and willing to continue and also that they have no concerns over the running of the club by the committee (the committee runs the day to day business of the club at the delegation of the trustees). To protect against a "rogue" committee, new or replacement trustees (who are nominated by the committee) can be vetoed by the existing trustees, at which point an EGM is called automatically.

Edited By Martin Harris on 11/09/2018 00:28:13

Peter Christy11/09/2018 08:54:10
1487 forum posts

I strongly suggest that you contact the Chesham MFC. They bought their own field many years ago, and it has been an unqualified success.

The "Club" became a limited company, with the members becoming shareholders. I won't go in to too many details, as it would be boring for the other readers, but if you speak to them, you will find them very forthcoming with advice.

**LINK**

--

Pete

Mark Adams 314/09/2018 12:01:37
5 forum posts

Thanks to everyone that has contributed to this forum post and especially to those Chairmen, Secretaries and Members of clubs that have taken the time to respond to my emails.

The current state is that I will suggest to the committee that we form a Company "Limited by Guarantee" and appoint a board of Directors/Guarantors from either the committee or those wishing to take on the role from current membership.

We have a newly appointed "Land Acquisition Manager" with some legal knowledge of contracts and he is making preliminary steps to engage with the Council in confirming their offer as a single point of contact for the Club.

Any final decision to go ahead will need to be agreed with the members before engaging a solicitor and proceeding with the purchase.

A big thank you again to everyone as this is a big step for a small club and all advice is gratefully received.

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