Band hall land may be sold for housing

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COUNCILLORS dealing with a dispute between Holbeach Town Band and their neighbours say selling the band hall may be an option in the future.

Holbeach Parish Council was told selling the building in Back Lane for development could generate cash towards the upkeep of other council-owned buildings, such as the ailing Coubro Chambers.

The suggestion was put forward after complaints were made to the council over noise and parking by Back Lane residents.

Speaking at a meeting last week, Coun Esmond Tearle, chairman of properties, said he thought it was an “excellent suggestion”.

“As an example, if two houses were built these could be let and the income could help finance the upkeep of the parish council-owned buildings, which would mean that the rate payers would not have to finance repairs, etc, to the degree they will with the parish council building,” he said. “The new properties would become an additional asset.

“However, this is something for the future as the Band Hall is let until March 2014.”

However, Holbeach Town Band say it would like to remain at its home of 20 years.

Mel Hopkin, musical director of the band, said he believes the first complaint was made when windows were opened during hot weather in October.

He said: “We are doing what we can making sure all the doors and windows are closed and I have checked the decibel reader. We will do what we can to make sure we will live peacefully with our neighbours.”

Mr Hopkin told how he had conducted a decibel check on Wednesday and the band was creating 55-60Db of noise from the opposite footpath. He said a passing lorry from the same spot was 75Db.

He said the band was “quite happy” in Back Lane and, despite suggestions from councillors that the hall wasn’t big enough for the band, he said it was the right size.

Mr Hopkin added: “It has been suggested we might want to move into the Youth Club but that’s totally unsuitable. We use the band room about 22 hours a week and they have suggested we use it for a couple of hours. I think they were trying to be helpful.”

Mr Hopkin said the council has offered to find the band a new home if the lease is not renewed in 2014.