AN APPLICATION has been made to ensure the district council house continues to provide a service to the public for years to come.
Malvern Civic Society called for Priory Mansion on Avenue Road to be registered as an Asset of Community Value, which would give community groups six months to prepare a bid to buy the building if it came on the market.
The application was made to Malvern Hills District Council which currently owns the premises now commonly referred to as ‘The Council House’.
It is thought the Victorian property which overlooks Priory Park was built for Dr James Gully, Malvern’s famous water-cure doctor, before it was sold in 1872 to London businessmen Alfred Miles Speer for £6,300 – worth about half a million pound in today’s money.
It later became a boys’ school before being bought by Malvern Urban District Council in 1925 and later transferring to its predecessor authority Malvern Hills District Council.
The ability to nominate buildings as an Asset of Community Value was introduced in 2012 by the Localism Act.
It provides a mechanism for local groups to ensure properties associated with benefiting the public can continue that way, should they be put on the market.
Clive Hooper, chairman of Malvern Civic Society, said the building had very clearly defined connections to the community.
“It is right that it should be registered as an Asset of Community Value and have the protection which the Localism Act provides,” he added.
Mr Hooper also expressed his gratitude for Malvern Town Council which backed the bid.
Ivor Pumfrey, head of community services at the district council, confirmed the application had been received and indicated it was due to be decided before Monday, February 2.
Last year the civic society failed in a bid to have the old community hospital at Lansdowne Crescent registered as an ACV.
But the organisation was successful in its application for The Grange on Grange Road, after Leviathan Consulting pulled out of a deal to buy the property.