Treasured buildings in South Holland are to have a chance of being protected under a people power law that allows the district council to keep a Community Assets Register.
South Holland District Council’s cabinet on Tuesday backed the creation of a register, but it’s believed there’s only one application in the pipeline to preserve the use of a building and that’s Ye Olde Dun Cow at Cowbit.
South Holland’s planning committee is expected to consider an application to use the Dun Cow site for the building of nine homes at its meeting on September 25.
The housing plan has sparked fierce opposition in the village with hundreds signing petitions to keep the Dun Cow as a pub.
Community Assets Registers have sprung from the Localism Act of 2011, which gives the public a right to nominate buildings and land they consider “to be of value to the community”.
When any assets on the register are put up for sale, there’s a temporary ‘stop’ on the sale to allow the community to express an interest in buying the asset – and a second “window of opportunity” to create a bid.
The Localism Act allows compensation to be paid to owners of buildings who lose cash by having the sale of assets delayed – but the cabinet is following its officers’ advice of having a no compensation policy and recommended that to the full council.
The Government has pledged to pay compensation if it totals £20,000 or more in a year, but the cabinet still backed the no compensation option.
Planning committee chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones suggested the planning chairman’s panel – with the addition of ward members where assets are nominated – could help officers “come to the right decision”.
• Community assets are defined as non residential, with a non-ancillary use, and of benefit to the community.