Winter Gardens ‘communitiy asset’ bid rejected

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 September 2015

Weston Winter Gardens Pavilion.

Weston Winter Gardens Pavilion.

Archant

THE Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare will not be listed as a community asset after councillors voted against the proposal.

Weston College's proposals for the Winter Gardens.Weston College's proposals for the Winter Gardens.

The seafront venue will be transferred from North Somerset Council to Weston College early next year.

The building will then be used as a law and professional services centre and is expected to open in September 2016.

Weston town councillor Catherine Gibbons hoped to get the venue listed under the Localism Act, which could have ensured extra consultation would be required before any changes are made.

But councillors voted against nominating it as a community asset on Monday.

Weston College's proposals for the Winter Gardens.Weston College's proposals for the Winter Gardens.

Cllr Gibbons said: “It is our duty to try to do something to protect this building for community use.

“I think it is a small thing we can do for the people of Weston to show we do care about their concerns.”

She said listing it as a community asset could help to protect the building if it is sold by the college in future.

However, any listing would have needed to take place before the transfer, and other councillors said it is too late for the listing to make any difference.

Cllr Clive Webb said: “I think this is a slap in the face to the college administration to say we don’t trust them.”

Cllr John Crockford-Hawley suggested instead making another bid to the English Heritage to have the building listed as a protected site after a previous attempt failed in April.

North Somerset is working with the college to ensure the building can still be used by the community.

And college principal Dr Paul Phillips told the Mercury in January how he hoped the college could not only match the current level of community use, but better it.

Cllr Mark Canniford said: “I don’t think there is any reason to think the college will abandon the building.

“The part the public is concerned about is community use, but there will still be a ballroom and events.”

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