The Coastal Visitor’s Centre.
A TOWN mayor has said he is baffled by an Isle of Wight Council decision to turn down a bid to formally list an important building in the town as a community asset.
The Isle of Wight Council, which owns the Salisbury Gardens in Ventnor, has rejected an application by the town council to list the building as a community asset under the terms of the Localism Act.
Had it been successful, designation would have bought time for the town council to formulate a bid for the building’s use.
The town council had hoped the building, used as the Coastal Visitor’s Centre, could become an enterprise hub for small businesses as part of regeneration efforts.
Ventnor Town Council is to debate its unsuccessful bid at its meeting on Monday, however there is no right of appeal.
The local authority has told the town council it refused the application because the previous and planned uses did not qualify it as being of community value.
The town council had consulted with residents over the future of the Salisbury Gardens building and received responses from more than 1,600 residents who wanted the building saved as a community asset.
The Isle of Wight Council wants to sell the building on the open market.
Mayor Steve Stubbings said: "I am completely baffled by this decision.
"We await further details from the Isle of Wight Council on the grounds for refusal, but I fear that yet another nail has just been driven into the coffin of local democracy."
Debate on the future of the centre is expected to take place in the private section of the meeting. The meeting starts at 7pm at St Lawrence Village Hall.