By a 2 to 1 majority, people have voted in favour of Crowborough Town Council’s plan to buy Pine Grove to convert the offices into a business and community hub.
However only 11% of electors bothered to take part in the consultation. Does the poor response and the fact insufficent candidates stood for the Town Council for there to be an election in May, indicate general disinterest in what happens in Crowborough?
Leafelts were distributed to around 9,000 homes in the town, and four drop-in sessions were held in late March to enable residents to meet Councillors to ask them questions about what was being proposed.
Now, the Town Council have the backing of the consultation, the next step will be for an application to be made to the Public Works Loans Board to borrow up to £2.65 million. At an extra-ordinary Council Meeting on 5th February, Councillors agreed to increase their share of the Council Tax bill in order to meet loan interest payments until the Hub starts to generate an income.
Planning permission has already been granted to convert the building into a Hub. The final obstacle will be to persuade Wealden District Council’s executive to sell the building to them, rather than their current preferred bidder Bouygues UK. Bouygues have yet to apply for planning permission to demolish the building to contruct an extra care facility.
A detail report about the consultation can be downloaded from the Council website: www.crowboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk.
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