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Beccles hall and car park bid moves forward

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 November 2016

The former St John Ambulance Hall in Blyburgate.

The former St John Ambulance Hall in Blyburgate.

Archant

Plans to secure the future of a popular Beccles building have moved a step closer, however the adjoining car park may not be available wholly for its users.

Blyburgate Hall was previously the home of the town’s unit of the St John Ambulance until it was forced to fold.

It is still used on a daily basis by various community organisations and the town council have agreed to take on the ownership of the building so it can be transferred back to the people of Beccles.

At Tuesday’s town council meeting, members agreed to use most of its capital reserves to buy the adjoining car park and ambulance station to sell on to a developer, keeping only a section of the car park for disabled and blind users.

Richard Stubbings, chairman of the council’s finance and general purposes committee, said: “We have a responsibility to our electorate and we feel that an asset such as Blyburgate Hall should be held in a trust by accountable people. There are a number of hurdles we have to do before taking over the hall but we want to make sure it is used for the benefit of Beccles people.

“The position we are in is that there are a different set of deeds for the car park and ambulance station and they are owned by the St John Ambulance Priory and it is their land to sell. As a town council we believe that the hall is more viable if there is access to some of the car parking spaces.

“Some of the users are blind and disabled and it is important for those users to be able to access the hall in the same way they do at the moment. The rest of us can walk across the road from the main car park but there has to be some provision. We can just about afford to do it if we draw from our capital reserves, but it would seriously deplete what was left. If we could find a better route we would happily do it.”

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