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Let’s band together to buy land at youth centre
A CONCERNED councillor is urging Malvern residents to put their hands in their pockets and dig deep to save the land around Malvern Youth Centre.
Late last year, Malvern Community Collective (MCC) was granted a 30-year lease on the centre in Albert Road North, after Worcestershire County Council announced it would no longer run it.
However, much of the field around the centre is not included in that lease.
Now Penelope Morgan, one of Malvern’s representatives on the county council, is asking local people and organisations to sponsor square metres or square feet of the land to keep it in public use.
She said: “The county council is planning to allow South Worcestershire College to use some of the land at a peppercorn rent for three years with a view to buying it in the future. The rest of the land is due to be sold off in the autumn for development.
“I am asking businesses, organisations and residents of Malvern to pledge money to buy the land, to preserve it for our residents and young people of the future.
“The green space, used by all age groups, provides a recreational area for people to enjoy the outdoors, to play sports and to grow things in the gardens to eat and to enjoy collective activities.”
She said the amount of land for sale is 3,800 square metres, or about 40,137 square feet. She said if the land is worth about £800,000, this works out at about £20 per square foot or £210 per square metre.
Julian Roskams, of the MCC, said: “We welcome this initiative, which recognises that this land is a community asset and has been for 50 or 60 years. I think it’s appropriate the community should band together to buy it.
“It would have been better if the council gave it to us, but it looks as though that’s not going to happen, so we must do what we can.”
Peter Parkes, Worcestershire County Council’s head of property services, said: “In November last year, the county council cabinet agreed in principle to lease the Malvern Youth Centre to the Malvern Community Collective and to retain some of the land in this location for potential future development.
“Since December, the county council has worked closely with the Malvern Community Collective on the terms for the lease.
These discussions have included the boundary of the property.
Both parties are working towards completion and while progress has been made and the main issues have been agreed, there is still some work to be done to finalise the lease.”