Time for list of key build­ings

Move would help avoid de­mo­li­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BUILD­INGS im­por­tant to the com­mu­nity should be iden­ti­fied to pro­tect them from de­mo­li­tion, ac­cord­ing to coun­cil­lors.

Bea­cons­field Town Coun­cil com­mu­nity safety com­mit­tee talked about iden­ti­fy­ing com­mu­nity as­sets in the town, prompted by the right to bid un­der the Lo­cal­ism Bill on Thurs­day last week.

The idea is to see which build­ings are key to the town and put them on a list, so if they are to be sold, com­mu­nity groups have the right to bid if they so choose.

Chair­man John Read said: “This was trig­gered by the Lo­cal­ism Act and con­ver­sa­tions around Wil­ton Park.

“We need to take a step back and look around the town at the com­mu­nity as­sets we al­ready have.

“One of the rights en­shrined in the act is the com­mu­nity right to bid, it means you are no­ti­fied when the prop­erty is put on the mar­ket and are al­lowed to bid.

“It doesn’t mean you have to but the chance is there.”

The town coun­cil said it is un­likely it would ever be in a po­si­tion to bid for sites such as the Cur­zon Cenre in Maxwell Road and the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion in Can­dle­mas Lane.

But it did mean it could support a com­mu­nity group if it wished. The Royal Bri­tish Le­gion was high­lighted be­cause the club, but not the branch, is clos­ing this month.

Neigh­bours have raised con­cerns the site may be taken over by a de­vel­oper.

Leader of the town coun­cil Alan Wal­ters said: “The rea­son why it is good to do this is be­cause of build­ings like [the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion] and the Cur­zon Cen­tre, which county cut fund­ing for.

“The point is they are very good com­mu­nity as­sets and this will mean that’s high­lighted.

“That’s all. We then have a right, rather than not be­ing told at all.

“Peo­ple liv­ing by the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion build­ing are wor­ried and won­der­ing what will hap­pen. I think that is a key site.”

How­ever, Coun­cil­lor Richard Keith said: “It will pre­sum­ably be sold at mar­ket value. I think it’d be hor­ri­bly ex­pen­sive. You’d just be giv­ing peo­ple false hope.”

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