Lawyers called in over Garstang community centre sale

Garstang Community/Business Centre
Garstang Community/Business Centre

Garstang Town Council is to take legal advice in the latest twist in the long-running saga of the sale of the town’s community centre and pay and display car park .

A solicitor will be employed to check whether there are any additional covenants or restrictions which would prevent or restrict development on or the sale on High Street.

The Community and Business Centre, which is owned by Wyre Council, is currently up for sale.

Preferred developer Keyworker Homes North West has already made a £1.6m bid on the site.

But on Monday night the Town Council unanimously backed Coun Alan Cornthwaite’s call for legal advice. They agreed to allocate up to £1,000 – which they estimated to be the cost of five days’ legal work – from monies previously set aside for the Centre.

The Community and Business Centre is located in the former Wyre and previously Garstang Rural District Council offices. It is currently the home of Garstang Town Council.

In a report to the Town Council, Coun. Cornthwaite noted: “The Town Council have received, from Wyre Borough Council, various deeds and plans relating to the council offices and car park.

“I believe it would be in the best interests of both the TC and the community charge payers of Garstang to seek independent legal advice on the deeds and plans received to ascertain if there are any covenants or other restrictions which may prevent and/or restrict the sale and/or development of the council offices and car park.

“Additionally the TC should also ascertain that there are no other deeds in existence which relate to the land, in particular any deeds pre-dating the ones we have received from Wyre Borough Council.”

There was stormy debate earlier in the meeting over the future use of the centre site and parking with some local residents still hopeful it could be retained for community use.

There has been a hold-up in the developer submitting plans for public consultation and Wyre council approval because of the existence of two covenants affecting access rights to the site.

It has also delayed Wyre Council’s planned allocation of £150,000 to the proposed new community hub at St Thomas’s part finished church hall, with a decision on the cash transfer now deferred to September 9.