Funds to protect town's heritage

PUBLISHED: 13:10 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

FUNDS no longer needed for a community hall in Portishead could now be used to protect the town's heritage.

FUNDS no longer needed for a community hall in Portishead could now be used to protect the town's heritage.

Portishead Town Council announced at the end of last year that it could not take on the lease to a new community hall at Trinity Anglican Methodist School in Marjoram Way, as originally intended, due to legal reasons.

Trustees imposed letting conditions that could not be accepted by the town council because it is a public body.

This left the £160,000 allocated for the hall in the council's bank account.

This month councillors will discuss the possibility of using the cash to help preserve historical sites in the town, which members of the community desperately want to stop being developed.

A town council heritage group was set up a year ago following a public outcry when planning permission was sought to replace an old farm at the end of High Street, close to Gordano School, with 30 new homes. That land, complete with outline planning permission, is now up for sale.

A second farm in the centre of High Street will be auctioned in February and the council is already taking legal advice with a view to making a bid for the site.

Using it for allotments is one suggestion that has already been made, while another is using it as a community orchard.

Vice chairman councillor Reyna Knight said: "Court Farm is a unique feature and as many of our historical features in Portishead have already been lost, it is vital we do whatever we can to protect this site.

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