Bembridge Parish Council says it is ‘trying to secure the future’ of three businesses in the village.
The future of 5-7 High Street has been under threat after the parish council revealed it was putting the building up for sale and applying for planning permission to convert it. The sale has now been withdrawn.
The building is home to Captain Stan’s Fish Store, SH Tree Services and houses office space for another businessman.
The Parish Council has a responsibility to maintain 5/7 High Street and the Village Hall, and says estimated maintenance costs for the two buildings over ten years is £350,000.
Plans to create a new community hub in the village hall have also been shelved.
A statement from Bembridge Parish Council reads:
“Following public consultations, village hall user group meetings, a petition received from 1317 Bembridge residents, the Library group’s decision to seek a lease on the library building and numerous individual feedback from members of the public it has been made clear that the majority of the public wish to see the 5/7 High Street building retained. The delivery of a Community Hub within one property is therefore unachievable.
“Bembridge Parish Council held an extraordinary Council meeting on 7th March in the Village Hall and agreed to rescind the decision to sell 5/7 High Street, Bembridge.
“The Parish Council has a responsibility to maintain 5/7 High Street and the Village Hall. Estimated maintenance work costs have been received from a quantity surveyor that amount to over £350,000 in total for both buildings over 10 years (these costs will be scrutinised and reduced where possible).
“The Parish Council now has to develop a 10 year maintenance programme and ensure the most urgent items are delivered first. The funds have to be found from the sinking fund of £50,000, maximising income, precept and fundraising initiatives.
“Feedback will be received from the Village Hall Management Committee and users regarding the possible relocation of an accessible public toilet with external access.
“The planning application for 5/7 High Street will continue as elements of it may be implemented to maximise the income to help fund maintenance works required. Discussions will take place with the current tenants to try and secure their future.”