Council protects five village sites as Community Assets

East Keswick Parish Council has successfully registered five village sites as Community Assets which means if they ever go up for sale then the village has the legal authority to take up to six months to prepare a bid to purchase, effectively giving far greater protection that the assets remain in a similar use to their present use.

The five assets are West End Stores on Moor Lane, the Duke of Wellington Inn on Main Street, the Old Star Inn on Main Street, the Sports Ground on Moor Lane and the turning circle on Church Drive.

The Parish Council was keen to be an early user of new powers conferred under the Communities Act. Once an asset has been registered, should an owner wish to sell then they are legally obliged to inform the local authority which in turn has to notify the Parish Council or any other interested parties. East Keswick Parish Council can then pause the sale for up to six months whilst it prepares or instigates a bid to buy. The new powers were broght in to prevent assets such as pubs and shops being taken out of use and converted into housing against the community’s wishes.

The village Neighbourhood Plan, which is currently in preparation, identified various potential assets as being condidates for protection and the public exhibition votes in Autumn 2013 endorsed this. On the suggestion of the Neighbourhood Plan the Parish Council acted early to use these powers. Additional community assets are to be added in due course.

The intervention is timely. The present village shop at West End Stores is in danger of closing as covered in separate news items on this website

Added Thursday 29th May 2014