East Warrnambool Football Netball Club has put a major spanner in multi-million-dollar Reid Oval redevelopment plans after rejecting an offer from the Warrnambool City Council.
Bombers treasurer Julie Scoble said her club obtained legal advice that its current lease, which doesn't expire until 2026, was enforceable.
She said the club had also obtained financial backing to take the matter to court and apply for an injunction to stop any move to bulldoze its club rooms as part of redevelopment plans.
That led to a series of meetings involving East, councillors and council officials.
Just over a week ago, the council sent a letter outlining two options to East - either join the redevelopment plans or stand alone.
East members met and unanimously decided to stand alone.
Mrs Scoble said the options were to move into a new building and for the club to forego its lease or to remain where they are now.
"We really had no choice," she said.
"It was untenable to accept a smaller social space and no storage facilities.
"That would give us no hope of coming out of recess."
Mrs Scoble said East officials met with Mayor Tony Herbert, Cr Sue Cassidy and council officials in early January.
She said at that meeting the club outlined that it had received legal advice about its current lease which led to the council conducting its own investigations and more meetings between the parties.
The treasurer said the club received the two options from council and club members met.
"There wasn't much of a choice really," she said.
"How could we attract players to come out of recess. We are already the smallest club in the district league space-wise and we were being asked to drop another 30 square metres of social space.
"That had to have an impact."
Mrs Scoble said the legal advice was "fairly strong" that the club's lease was enforceable.
"Our end goal has to be to get out of recess and get players back to the club. The new building was not going to work for us," she said.
"The funding was originally granted for a two-storey facility and that's what we preferred.
"That way the umpires can have a stand alone facility. We would have moved if we had to. We tried to negotiate with council and we even had our own plans drawn up."
Mrs Scoble said it appeared the council would be forced to adopt the first redevelopment concept of a two-storey facility.
"We'll wait and see what happens but it looks like the council is heading back to the drawing board," she said.
Warrnambool City Council has been contacted for comment.
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