Localism laws result in more Hampshire buildings being registered as community facilities

Localism laws result in more Hampshire buildings being registered as community facilities

Localism laws result in more Hampshire buildings being registered as community facilities

First published in Winchester

MORE Hampshire buildings have become registered community facilities under new Localism laws.

A youth hall and NHS clinic in Malt Lane, Bishop's Waltham, and the Fox and Hounds pub in Denmead have qualified for the Localism Act's Community Right to Bid scheme.

The scheme allows communities to identify places like pubs, shops and libraries as 'assets of community value', which must then be kept on a list by the local council.

If any owner of an asset wants to sell it, they have to notify the council which in turn must notify local groups and give them up to six months to prepare a bid to buy it themselves before it can be sold to another party.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, Winchester City Council's portfolio holder for finance and administration, said: “Recognising that youth centres, surgeries, open spaces, and pubs play significant roles in our day-to-day lives will hopefully bring the community together to raise the funds if these facilities ever fall into risk of closure.”

The Bishop's Waltham sites have been recognised for providing key youth activities and health services unavailable elsewhere in the town.

But the Denmead pub was initially denied right to bid status when it was first nominated in December because the village failed to demonstrate it was a 'hub of great social importance'.

This second nomination was successful after local residents put forward a number of examples of events at the pub that brought the community together.

The Fox and Hounds is currently on the market and the city council has started phase two of right to bid, which temporarily stops the owners selling it to a private buyer for six weeks.

If Denmead Parish Council or any other interested community groups can now decide whether to bid for the pub, which would increase the selling ban to six months to allow groups to get the capital together.

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