£175K for Halling Village Now
This petition made change with 119 supporters!
We, the undersigned Halling Villagers as well as people who work and visit Halling and its amenities, petition the Halling Parish Council to sell the former Halling Fire Station Now, Not Later. At stake is the largest financial transaction in the Village history. This money is Yours and Ours and Our Children's to be invested wisely in the Future of Halling.
History of Fire Station Purchase
The disused Fire Station built in the 1960s was bought from Kent Fire and Rescue Service with funding from Redrow Homes as part of the Section 106 Payments required for St. Andrews Place, the Redrow built estate that increases Halling Village's size by 25% by adding 365 new dwellings.
Medway Council approved the transfer of £100,000 in May 2013 to Halling Parish Council for the sole purpose of buying the fire station. The agreement between Medway Council and Halling Parish Council was concluded October 2013. The purchase was completed February 25, 2015. The property went on sale via a local estate agent June 9, 2015 only after insurance was paid, business rates, security updated, and other costly repairs made.
Medway Council and Halling Parish Council agreed to place a covenant on the property which states the property or the income generated from its disposal must be for "community use." Halling Parish Council must negotiate with any potential buyer to maintain the vehicular access to its own Lower Recreational Ground through this property as there is no legal obligation to do so.
Valid and Only Offer on the Table
In October 2015, the Halling Baptist Church offered £150K to purchase the Fire Station and has expressed willingness to maintain the vehicular access to the Lower Recreation Ground. This price is well above the surveyor's and insurance valuation of the property.
Nonetheless, this bid was rejected not by the full Parish Council, rather by a ONE VOTE Majority. Subsequently, the Halling Baptist Church increased its bid to £175K.
Gambling with Public Money and Our Village Future
Halling Parish Councillors are stalling the sale of the former Halling Fire Station under the guise of a committee that will conduct further alternative usage studies with the hopes of retaining the building for an office, a cafe or similar. However, a well-researched feasibility report, e.g. Fire Station Purchase Study was authored by a qualified Halling Parish Councillor and discussed at a Parish Council Meeting in October 2013.
The study objectively concludes that the only financially realistic option is to sell the fire station to the highest bidder and re-invest your money in Halling Village.
Act Now to Secure the Sale
NOW is the Time to Act. It is imperative to sell the Fire Station now without further delays to enable the money to be invested in Halling Village. Any supposed alternative uses of the fire station will incur multiple £10K costs to bring the building to minimum statutory health and safety standards.
Money earned NOW from the fire station sale would be better spent investing in Halling community. "Community uses" of this money would include fully refurbishing the two recreation grounds for all community members across all age groups and long-term maintenance of the Village Common (e.g. Halling Marsh) to name just a few obvious projects.
Let your Voice be Heard
The next Halling Parish Council meeting is Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Halling Community Centre, High Street, Halling ME2 1BS. Please attend and let your opinion count.
Now is the time for Democracy to be seen and heard!
For more info click on these links to
The Kent Messenger:
The Halling Parish Council web site:
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