Report by Alex Evans, Reporter
Friday, May 4, 2012
RESIDENTS packed into a town hall on Monday to have their say on council plans to buy a piece of land including a car park, nursery and after-school club.
Axbridge Town Council opened up the proposal to purchase land at the top of Moorland Street from Sedgemoor District Council to public discussion at a special meeting.
More than 40 residents turned out to look at the proposals.The car park currently charges motorists to park in it.
Town mayor Baz Hamblin said: “We are not sure if we are going to charge. We haven’t got a definitive answer yet.
“We are still negotiating over the purchase from Sedgemoor.
“Although the vote is not binding on the council, we will take it into account and act on it unless the final terms and conditions of the deal stop us from doing that.”
It was decided at the meeting that the land will be purchased and the cost paid off over a period of 10-15 years.
It means residents’ council tax precepts will rise by about 17p per band D property per year.
It is not thought the purchase will affect the nursery or preschool buildings, which will likely be re-leased.
Town council clerk Vicky Brice said: “The land purchase is considered important as it will give the local community control over the use of the land and maintain the existing facilities.”
It is not the first time the council has held a public debate on its plans to purchase land.
Previously, a meeting was held over Meadow Street car park, which led to the land being bought and used as a town centre parking facility run by the town council.