Readers will remember that the IWC last year refused to consider leasing the Ventnor Coastal Centre to the Ventnor Town Council (VTC) as part of the VTC’s plan to create an enterprise hub for new small businesses in the town to help regenerate the local economy.
Sell on the open market
Outgoing Chief Executive, Steve Beynon and Leader of the council, David Pugh, told the VTC they planned to sell the building on the open market asap.
The VTC subsequently nominated the building as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ under the ‘Community Right to Bid’ part of the Localism Act on 7 January 2013.
This week, the VTC have received a response from the Isle of Wight council, who refuse to recognise the building would be of community benefit.
The reasons given for the decision are:
- The previous use does not qualify as being of community value or facilitate/further social wellbeing
- The proposed use does not qualify as being of community value or facilitate/further social wellbeing
Strong support from residents
Following a consultation in the town on the future of the Coastal Centre, a whopping 1,625 residents replied in favour of the building being saved as a Community Asset.
A report from Town Clerk, David Bartlett, says
As the letter from the Isle of Wight Council states, there is no right of appeal provided by the Localism Act, but it is clearly unacceptable that, given the spirit of the Act and the democratic nature of our society, the Isle of Wight Council should be able to reject such a strong case on the basis of its own decision-making without challenge.
The VTC will consider their response at Monday’s monthly meeting.
We’ll be contacting county councillors for Ventnor, Susan Scoccia and Chris Welsford for their views on the council’s decision.
The report, which contains the refusal notice from the council as well as responses from residents (and can also be found on the VTC Website), is embedded below for your convenience.