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Remove Suspension of Drill Hall Sale to MA Community Centre Luton
Petition Background (Preamble):
Published on Tuesday 8 March 2011 15:55
PLANS to sell a large site in High Town to a Local Muslim group have been put on ice by Luton Borough Council.
A campaign had been set up against the sale of the Old Drill Hall site by Darren Carroll, a relative of English Defence League leaders Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll, who claimed to have collected 1,500 signatures on a petition demanding the site was used for affordable housing.
Luton Borough Council said the site had been originally intended for housing, but economic conditions meant it had to sell the land on the open market.
But yesterday the council said a ‘change in government policy’ had meant it had had to suspend the sale of the site, in which MA Community Centre (Masjid-e-Ali) were understood to be the preferred bidder.
The organisation is currently based in Moor Street but wanted to move to the Old Drill Hall and create a community centre, which it said would be open to people of all faiths.
A spokesman for the council said: “The property was placed on the open market and a marketing campaign was implemented which invited bids by means of an informal tender process. A number of bidders engaged in the process and the council did identify a preferred bidder (Masjid-e-Ali Community Centre).
“However, in the time which elapsed through that process, policy guidance changes have emerged from central government with regard to provision of housing and educational needs.
“These changes have required a review of the process of site disposal across the authority. The government has set a new policy framework for the provision of affordable housing and has altered the funding stream by which this can be achieved. This new policy guidance only came into force in February 2011.
“As a result of this change to guidance, elected members have now directed officers to look again at how all site disposals – not just the Drill Hall site – are dealt with as part of a wider review of policy and procedure so that these new objectives can best be addressed. Officers will recommend changes to the wider policy and procedure on surplus site disposals to a future meeting of the executive.
“In the light of this review, the executive decided to suspend the bidding process of the Drill Hall site in the 11th hour.”
MA Community Centre were only made aware of this breaking news via the Luton News Paper & feel that this decision is unreasonable & unfair as LBC had completed all checks and issued a draft contract for approval. MA Community Centre feel LBC have given into pressure from a facist Group the so called EDL (English Defence League) following their recent march in Luton.
MA Community Centre plans were to regenerate the site as a Community Centre with new & improved recreation facilities for all the community that would also house NHS Walk In clinics, rehabilitation Centre & many other social & welfare services for "ALL" the local community.
Please support MA Community Centre by signing the Petition.
The Remove Suspension of Drill Hall Sale to MA Community Centre Luton petition to Luton Borough Council was written by Sajad Shah and is in the category Education at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: masjid-e-ali, drill hall, hightown recreation, luton, suspension