BARCLAYS BANK TO BE LISTED AS AN ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE?
As a designated Neighbourhood Forum we have been granted a power under the Localism Act 2011 to protect buildings we value by having them designated as Assets of Community Value (ACV). This means that any ACV coming up for sale or similar disposal can be subject to a bid by the local community to make a proposal for its purchase. There is a moratorium period of six months to allow such a bid to be put together (possibly with the help of outside investors).
The procedure is straightforward and requires the Council to put a designated building on a register. Such a listing becomes a material consideration in any planning application for change of use or redevelopment and it seems likely that the Council will resist a change of use (for example to a Sainsbury’s) due to problems with deliveries and servicing. Several buildings across the country, notably local pubs and libraries, have recently been saved in this way. We have received informal advice from a planning barrister that a bank can be listed.
We are therefore canvassing opinion on whether the local community would like Barclays Bank at Ham Parade to be designated as an ACV. Please consider the following and let us know if you or your organisation will support an application.
PROS AND CONS
Pro: Might delay the change of use (for example to Sainsbury’s)
Con: Will not stop Barclays vacating, so the building could be empty for longer
Pro: Could result in a community-backed use (eg another bank, shop, etc)
Con: May be a futile exercise if there is no alternative – and we might end up with something worse than Sainsbury’s
Pro: Good example of community empowerment if a majority is in support
Con: Might go against those who want a Sainsbury’s Local or don’t object
Pro: Would be a material consideration in any planning application
Con: Takes up time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere
Please let us have your views before 31st May, when we would need to make the application. Please email your views here
HAM & PETERSHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM