Members of a much-loved social club have been left devastated as Jaguar Land Rover plans to turn 'the sports field into a car park'.

JLR confirmed to BirminghamLive they have advised the Land Rover Sports and Social Club the current lease on the remaining land and property will not be extended when it expires.

If the plans go ahead it means the club "will be made homeless in a year".

The move will impact football and rugby teams who play there and a whole host of indoor clubs who use the facilities - including ballroom dancers, and a darts team.

The Land Rover Sports & Social Club in Rowood Drive, Solihull.

The car giant have reportedly already submitted planning applications.

As well as the extensive sports field the club itself is a large facility which has a number of bars and function rooms, with some available for hire by members of the public.

The social Club announced the 'devastating' news on the club's Facebook page after committee members met with JLR bosses on Monday night.

   

The facility employs 20 people as well as others who work on an ad hoc basis.

The Land Rover Social Club in Solihull.

The main function room at the club, which sits right nest to the Lode Lane factory, is a huge hall which regularly holds entertainment events aimed at both club members and the wider Solihull community.

The statement on their Facebook page said:  “Following a meeting with JLR’s estates team, we have been notified of their intentions for the future development of the land we lease/occupy which will affect our current position.

“JLR haven’t supplied any further detail other than they will be serving notice and submitting planning applications for the sports field to be turned into a car park for JLR parking.

“The application will be a two stage process, the first stage will result in the football pitches being lost and local residents access denied. We are expecting this first notice to be served on us in the next two weeks which gives us 12 months.”

“The second stage involves the current end of lease in 2022 and JLR’s intention is to reclaim the land in its entirety incorporating the rugby pitches and the social club.

“As a social club, we have our legal team investigating this and we will be looking to reject this notice.

“This is a costly exercise, so our committee and staff will be fundraising to help with the costs.

“We will also set up a Just Giving page as the club is a ‘not for profits/mutual trading club’.

“The impact on staff, committee, club users, all sports teams and local residents will be huge and we would welcome support from you all.

“We at LRSSC would welcome any help to raise funds and would welcome any help/advice that can be given.”

A football match being played on the sports field at the Land Rover Sports and Social Club
  

Richard Woodall, club secretary at Olton Ravens FC, which run a number of youth and adult teams, said the news was 'absolutely devastating' for them and all of the other clubs connected to the site. 

"The football club has been going strong for around 40 years and we have been at the current side for the last eight years," Richard said.  

"We have a lot of young players and they will be heartbroken. If these plans come to fruition we will be made homeless in a year.

"We currently have five football pitches and they will all be gone as well as the rugby pitch. 

 

"There are also a lot of indoor clubs which use the building and they will be just as devastated by the news. 

"JLR are a huge company but we are planning to reject this notice and fight this to the bitter end."

A Jaguar Land Rover spokeswoman said: “In June 2018 we confirmed Solihull would be home to the next generation Range Rover and Land Rover vehicles and will be upgraded to an all-new flexible vehicle architecture.

“To deliver this, the plant will undergo significant technology upgrades, including the development of new staff facilities.

  

“In support of this, Jaguar Land Rover has served notice on part of the sports field, and has advised the Land Rover Sports and Social Club that the current lease on the remaining land and property will not be extended when it expires.

“Jaguar Land Rover is working closely with the club and relevant parties to ensure a smooth transfer over the next 12 months.”