In the light of the decision of the Dales District Council not to designate The Meadows an Asset of Community Value, Wirksworth’s mayor, Andy Jordan, today said:
“The Town Council has been working during the summer to ensure that, whatever the decision of the District Council on the designation of The Meadows as an Asset of Community Value, we are in a position to make an offer to purchase the land. We have achieved that position.
The initial application for the designation of an Asset of Community Value did give us some extra time to make sure we have the funds in place for a purchase. The failure to achieve designation has not changed the situation. The Town is prepared. The Council has set aside a sum of money it believes will be sufficient to complete the purchase.
Designation as an Asset of Community Value is not like a planning designation, intended to protect a site from development, but rather to offer an opportunity for a community to raise funds in order to purchase a site. If the designation were to be changed so that The Meadows becomes an Asset of Community Value, the principal effect would be to delay the date of sale by six months. It would not change the status of The Meadows beyond that six months.
The Town Council is positive about the chances of purchasing the land for Wirksworth. Our understanding is that the sale contract is likely to make commercial development of the site financially unrealistic. The Council has already decided to hold a consultation process in the town, probably after the purchase of the land: this will be to help the Council to decide what should be done with the land and also how it should be managed. The consultation will be designed to allow a full discussion of the possibilities.
Until The Meadows is in the town’s ownership, of course we can’t be totally confident of the purchase. But I do believe that the Town Council has done everything it should to ensure that The Meadows is in the town’s possession in perpetuity."
Last Updated: 26 September 2019