HUNDREDS of protesters have signed a petition in a bid to save a sailing club’s base which is earmarked for beach huts.

The SOS – Save Our Sailing – campaign has been launched to try prevent Maldon Yacht Club losing its premises near Promenade Park.

Earlier this year, the Standard reported the 79-year-old club was in danger of shutting up completely due to Maldon District Council’s plans to use the land for projects to boost tourism.

Paper and online petitions have been set up to gather support.

A spokesman said: “The SOS Save Our Sailing banners were put up on Friday.

“Our club decided to bring it into the public eye. Hopefully it will help our case.

“Our club is worth fighting for so thank you to all the people that have signed it.

“It’s a waiting game now, but hopefully we will know more soon.”

He added: “The sailing clubs on the Blackwater are being very supportive, which we thank them for.

“It’s great for us to know how many people are with us and hoping to help us change Maldon District Council’s mind and let us go on for five or ten years, or work with us.

“What a wonderful Christmas and New year that would make. In the meantime, people are still sailing and enjoying the river.”

Maldon Liberal Democrats have supported the group by setting up an online petition on their behalf which has attracted more than 1,000 signatures.

Lib Dem general election candidate Colin Baldy said: “The yacht club has done its own paper petition so one of my volunteers has set up an online petition with the yacht club’s permission.

“Maldon Lib Dems are supporting Maldon Yacht Club’s fight against eviction from their base.

“Community groups such as the yacht club are vital in raising the quality of life for local residents.

“Maldon Yacht Club were not properly consulted before they were issued with the eviction notice from Maldon District Council. The council says they want to install more beach huts on the site, so this decision seems to be all about money.”

For details of the petition, visit

n Maldon's other general election candidates on December 12 are Janet Band (Green), Stephen Capper (Lab) and John Whittingdale (Con).