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Christchurch councillors refuse to list Druitt Hall
COMMUNITY hall campaigners have lost out after a bid to nominate Druitt Hall as a community asset failed.
Supporters of the hall in Christchurch, who recently won a battle to save the facility from demolition, turned out in force once again to Christchurch Borough Council’s resources committee to hear the councillors’ decision.
It had been recommended by officers that the nomination to list the hall as an asset of community value be rejected as the council has no plans to dispose of the land by sale or lease.
Neil Farmer, strategic director at the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, told the meeting he did not think there was any benefit to listing the building and said the costs predicted for the hall to be brought up to standard could be between £60,000-£95,000.
This and his statement saying there was no running water in the hall, drew some outraged heckles from the campaigners disputing this.
Leader of the council Cllr Ray Nottage, who chairs the committee told the supporters to “keep quiet”, immediately calling for a break and reminding the members of the public this was a meeting of the resources committee.
Once the meeting was reconvened, Cllr Denise Jones said: “I would have thought that in the general view of things this is a value to the town centre and to the people of Christchurch as a whole.
“As champion for the elderly I do know how this has been used by the elderly and valued by them.
“I would hope our council worked for this group and make it a possibility that something is there for people to use.”
Independent Cllr Colin Bungey, said: “If as we are saying there is no benefit to either side and it does not hold the council to any conditions and it is just a paper exercise, I would have thought to encourage the community aspect and to help move things forward, I don’t see any problem with listing it.”
Despite Cllr Bungey’s suggestion, the committee rejected the proposal 9-1, with two abstentions.