Row over centre goes to minister

By Sara Bryce

Sunday, November 18, 2012

 

VENTNOR Town Council has written to the secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, voicing concern over the Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors Centre.

The council feels the Isle of Wight Council ignored its calls to hand over the centre so it can be developed a business start-up centre.

The building was on the Isle of Wight Council’s disposal list, with plans for a sale, though it is not currently on the market.

David Bartlett, clerk to Ventnor council said: "The town council felt the Isle of Wight Council had not been acting in the spirit of the Localism Bill so we wrote to Mr Pickles asking his view on that.

"It is linked to the project for the Coastal Centre as a business start-up centre. This requires the Isle of Wight Council to lease or sell us the building to use but they wouldn’t do it. They said they were going to sell it. "

The meeting on Monday heard Ventnor is annoyed about the Isle of Wight Council not responding to its requests for a meeting.

The issue of the Coastal Centre was raised at a full meeting of the Isle of Wight Council last month by Cllr Chris Welsford, who sits for Ventnor East.

Leader Cllr David Pugh said: "It is unrealistic to expect the council to gift a property of this value to the town council.

"However, we will work with the town council to find suitable premises to realise its aspirations."

The meeting heard the Coastal Centre was worth more than £400,000.

Reporter: sarab@iwcpmail.co.uk

The Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors’ Centre, Ventnor.

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