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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Lifeline for under threat Ulverston landmark

A LIFELINE may yet be handed to those pushing to keep Ulverston’s landmark Lanternhouse as a community asset.

A new government scheme giving people the chance to list important property within their community has been launched in South Lakeland.

Community Right to Bid will allow organisations, neighbourhood forums and parish councils to nominate land or buildings they feel are valuable to them.

They could then be given six months grace to find the money to buy the asset should it ever come up for sale.

But it is not yet clear whether the news comes too late to list Lanternhouse, which has not been registered, as a community asset.

Lanternhouse has been put on the market by Lanternhouse International, the group that runs the building, due to financial pressures.

Town and district councillor Jeanette Jenkinson said she was “on the fence” about whether listing Lanternhouse would be the best approach but advised anybody interested to write to South Lakeland District Council.

Members of SLDC’s cabinet committee were told at a meeting on Wednesday that the list could include post offices, swimming pools, parks, pubs, sports pitches and other open spaces.

Councillor David Evans, SLDC’s finance chief, said advice and support for groups wishing to nominate an asset was on hand.

“We have tried to make the process straightforward and will provide as much information as possible to groups wanting to nominate an asset under Community Right to Bid,” he added.

“However, at the end of the six months the owner of the property can take a higher offer if they have one.

“This is not the same as a right to buy.”

Owners of properties which are listed on the new community asset register can appeal the process with SLDC.

But they are not obliged to accept an offer from the community bidder at the end of the six-month period – and can advertise the asset at full market value.

Lanternhouse went on the market earlier this year after Lanternhouse International was hit with heavy budget cuts, meaning it was struggling to cope with the financial burden of keeping the arts centre open.

At the meeting, Cllr Jenkinson asked whether the scheme could help secure Lanternhouse but was told by council officials it may be too late. SLDC was unable to confirm last week whether the fact the building went on sale before the scheme came into place would mean attempts to list it as a community asset now would be unsuccessful.

Cllr Jenkinson added: “There’s an issue with the Lanternhouse in Ulverston which is now up for sale. It would be a shame if community groups that may be interested cannot now list this building.”

Have your say

i was there from 1961 to 1966. yes iknew steven harrison we used to play footy

Posted by allan jones on 5 August 2013 at 16:45

I know that as the Monument. From the 1960s, when I was at Ulverston Mansion. known as Stone Cross School. in them days. I was there from May 1963 - July 1967.

Posted by STEPHEN NIGEL HARRISON on 23 February 2013 at 23:16

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