Devonport’s MP, Luke Pollard, has today written to the Church of Scientology asking them to invest in the Royal Fleet Club or sell it to a new owner, after local residents raised concerns about the deteriorating state of the building.
The Royal Fleet Club is one of Devonport’s most historic buildings surviving both the Blitz and the post-war redevelopment of Devonport. The building was bought by the Church of Scientology in 2010 and the condition of the building is now a major concern for local residents. Fly tipping around the back of the building as well as broken windows means this historic building is now a fire risk.
Plans by the Church of Scientology for the Royal Fleet Club would have seen millions invested to overhaul the building into the South West hub for the organisation and would have included a library, chapel, information centre, book store, course and lecture rooms, offices, and a cafe. However, years later, the promised investment has not materialised.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“Devonport is a proud community and the Royal Fleet Club is a building of importance to our community. I want to see the Church of Scientology invest in the building, bringing new construction jobs to Devonport. But if their plans have changed because of the pandemic then I want them to sell the building to a new owner who can restore this building. I fear that in its current state Devonport is only one fire away from losing this important building forever.
“I want to see more investment in Marlborough Street and Devonport to give this community what it deserves: levelling up and investment. As we emerge from the pandemic there needs to be a clear plan for this building. I hope to meet with the owners soon to discuss the future plans for this building. Leaving it to rot is not an option that Devonport will stomach any longer. My message is clear: invest or sell.”
Councillor Bill Stevens, ward Councillor for Devonport said:
“It’s a real shame the Fleet Club has been allowed to get into this state. Everyone in Devonport knows this iconic building and I really want the owners to do the right thing and restore it to its former glory or pass it on to someone who can. Devonport deserves nothing less.”