Trustees of community house left outraged after council vote against listing building as community asset - The Redditch Standard

Trustees of community house left outraged after council vote against listing building as community asset

Redditch Editorial 8th Sep, 2022   0

THE TRUSTEES of Community House say they are ‘outraged’ after Redditch Borough Council voted against listing the building as an asset of community value.

The council made the decision to sell the building on Easemore Road in July of this year to make way for redevelopment.

Tenants and trustees have been campaigning to stop the sale, claiming the services operating from there are integral to the community.

The application by Bromsgrove and Redditch Network (BARN) on behalf of the Redditch Common Neighbourhood Trust (RCNT) had called for the building to be registered as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ (ACV).

This would have given the Community House six months tenants to raise the cash needed to buy the building for the market value from the council.

On the previous evening the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had also considered the application with Coun Bill Hartnett proposing a ACV recommendation which was voted against.

Coun Hartnett said: “Community House tenants were simply asking for time – six months could have seen facilities saved for future generations.

“The voluntary groups who use the building include Age Concern, the Repair Cafe and the Talking Newspaper.

“Gemini Dance Studios will also be left homeless after a tenancy of over 50 years.”

Gary Roskill, chief executive of Bromsgrove and Redditch Network (BARN) and chairman of the RCNT, said: “All we were asking for is time to make it viable – they all agreed it was a community asset, but wouldn’t give it six months.

“I’m disgusted with what has happened, I don’t understand why they couldn’t give us the time, it’s shameful.”

A Redditch Borough Council spokesperson said confirmed the AVC application had been received after the executive committee’s decision to declare Community House ‘surplus and to be sold’.

“An external expert was asked to consider whether or not it passed the statutory test for listing.

“The condition of the property didn’t meet the statutory test and was therefore not recommended for listing.”

“Members emphasised that this decision related to the bricks and mortar of the building and not to the services currently based there, which are greatly valued by the council, which would support efforts for them to be relocated within the borough.”


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