THE MALVERN Civic Society has re-submitted an application for The Grange to be listed as an Asset of Community Value, in the latest twist to the saga.
Clive Hooper from the society, has always maintained the group has already made a valid attempt to have the property registered but claimed it was simply ‘ignored’ by Malvern Hills District Council, which has since agreed to sell the Grade II listed building to Leviathan Consulting.
Mr Hooper said the society would take the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman and the group’s Executive board is due to making a final decision on the move today (Wednesday, July 2).
The council has always maintained the original bid was unacceptable because it was not on the correct form. Mr Hooper said the latest application, which was on the proper paper, would expose the authority’s ‘absurdity’ over the matter.
ACVs give community groups six months to prepare a bid for the property to maintain its direct benefit to the public.
It remains to be seen if the latest application, which is set to be determined by the council withing eight weeks, will be upheld considering a deal to sell The Grange is in place.
Council leader David Hughes refused to be drawn on the matter last week, when he was asked if the sale had now been put on hold.
Coun Hughes said it would be ‘inappropriate’ to comment on the matter until the Local Government Ombudsman had reached an outcome.