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Druitt Hall campaigners granted three-year lease
7:00am Sunday 29th September 2013 in News
DRUITT Hall campaigners have been given three years to make their plans for the community centre a success.
Councillors at a meeting of the resources committee agreed for the Druitt Hall Association Ltd (DHAL) to be given a three year lease under a number of conditions.
The decision comes after outline planning permission for a new facility were given the green light by councillors earlier this year.
Agreement over where the new hall will be sited has not yet been reached, despite council plans for a land swap being abandoned.
Directors of the DHAL will have to establish a community interest body and show that funds for costs and rebuilding are in place by January 2014 before the lease can be signed.
The work undertaken by the community group was championed by Cllr Peter Hall, left, town centre ward councillor.
He told members: “In 1946 when Charlotte Druitt gave the Druitt Gardens and the library building to the people of Christchurch, she was advised by her solicitor not to give them to Christchurch council as they could not be trusted.
“So they were given to the county council instead. Sixty-seven years on, we can shout loud and clear that Christchurch council can be trusted. By meeting the aspirations of our community and granting a lease for a new Druitt Hall on site A, it shows beyond any doubt residents can emphatically trust this council.”
He also raised concerns regarding an upcoming “town centre strategy”, which will examine the need for community facilities – a policy he had never heard of.
“Our planning policy team at Christchurch knew nothing about it”, he told the committee.
“We seem to have double standards.”
Cllr Trevor Watts, chairman of the resources committee said: “We as members have a responsibility to everyone in Christchurch and I am glad that the officers have take the time and due diligence to safeguard everyone’s interests.”
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