Bembridge Parish Council (BPC) will be convening an Extraordinary Council meeting tonight (Tuesday 3rd July) to consider the outcome of a Parish Poll held last week.
The poll was called by a former BPC councillor and residents were asked “Do you want Bembridge Parish Council to sell 5/7 High Street?”.
There are 3,224 residents eligible to vote and the turnout saw 834 ballot papers issued (25.87%).
The number of votes against the sale of the property was almost three times that of those who favoured it (602 to 231).
Why is it being disposed of?
On 1st May 2018 the Finance and Assets Committee recommended to the Full Council, “the disposal/sale of 5/7 High Street, Bembridge to generate a possible capital receipt of £180,000”.
The income from the sale of the property can only be used for capital purposes which will benefit other Parish Council amenities such as the Village Hall, St Luke’s Churchyard, Steyne Park MUGA and the War Memorial restoration.
Chairman: ‘Businesses are not under threat’
At the Annual Council Meeting held in May 2018, the Chairman of the Parish Council, Keith Fagan, said the building would not be demolished after it was sold.
He stated that businesses are ‘not under threat’, only the landlord will change, and that new leases have been offered to the tenants.
According to the Bembridge Parish Council Annual Report 2017/18
The tenants of 5 and 7 High Street were offered renewal of leases on 15th March 2017. On 28th March 2017 the tenants were offered first rights to additional space, garages, workshop and parking, that would be subject to availability.
Terence Willey & Co has been appointed to draft the new leases of 5 and 7 High Street. Christopher Scott’s has conducted landlord’s inspections on 18th April 2018 to assist the lease renewal process. Meetings between the Tenants, Parish Council and Surveyors are being arranged to progress the renewal process, prior to disposal.
The land and public right of way to the left of the building could be retained to ensure covenants placed on the facade being retained, the ground floor always being used for A, B1 and D1 use classes and excluding national/multi-national retailers from purchasing or leasing the building to minimise the impact upon existing High Street Businesses.
The covenants will impact the potential capital receipt which, must be accepted to deliver the protection the required as it has been demonstrated that the community want to see the façade kept as the property is thought to be an Iconic building.
Exclusion of press and public
Members of the press and public will be able to attend tonight’s Extraordinary Meeting (starting 7pm).
However, they will be excluded from item 6 of the agenda regarding ‘Property 5/7 High Street’.
A spokesperson for the Parish Council said this was, for “having due regard to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted”.
The Chairman of the Parish Council declined to comment until the item had been discussed at the Extraordinary meeting.
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