Anger as Harpford Hall is put up for sale

06:00 16 May 2014

Harpford residents protest as the village hall may be sold off. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1972-20-14AW

Harpford residents protest as the village hall may be sold off. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1972-20-14AW

Archant

Residents and councillors have blasted church bosses for putting the disused Harpford Hall on the open market - jeopardising its future as a community asset.

According to Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council, the Diocese of Exeter has more than tripled the asking price of the venue after putting it up for sale.

The building is owned by the church but it has gone unused for the last 18 months, to the frustration of villagers and groups.

The council says it offered to step in and lease the property last year but, after realising renovation costs would exceed its budget, offered to buy the hall for £30,000.

Taxpayer cash totalling £12,000 and £10,000 in rural aid grants means £22,000 has been spent on the hall’s upkeep since 1987 according to the council.

But residents and councillors were left stunned after they said the church declined their offer and opted to sell the hall for a guide price of £97,000.

Resident Val Ranger, who also sits on the parish council, said: “We are bewildered why the hall has been taken away without wider consultation.”

A parish council spokesman said the decision was a ‘great shame’, and such a ‘high-handed attitude’ from a Christian organisation was a ‘disaster’.

A Diocesan spokesman said they have ‘been working with the local community for the past two years’ to try and ‘find a way forward for Harpford Hall’.

The spokesman added: “In 2012, the parish council was offered the hall at a fraction of the price it would fetch on the open market when sold with unrestricted use, and also offered the lease of the hall at a very low rate to enable it to be kept as a community resource.

“After initially wanting to move forward to lease the hall, the parish council withdrew from this in February this year.

“As the church in Harpford has said it has no use for the hall, the Diocese has been obliged to place it on the open market.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 2900-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

The Red Arrows have been saluted for offering to reduce their fee after bad weather stopped them from performing a full display.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:04

Opportunist thieves were targeted by police during a three-day festival in Escot Park at the weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:01
Himalayan Balsam

Organisers behind an effort to clear the River Sid of an invasive weed have warned it will take years to solve the problem unless more people lend a hand.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:34

A recent spate of burglaries has prompted a police appeal for witnesses, or anyone who has been offered stolen goods, to come forward.

Read more
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Ian West completed the gruelling Tough Mudder challenge to raise £1030 for CLIC Sargent

A man who has battled cancer – and lost his brother to leukaemia - undertook a gruelling 10-mile obstacle course to raise £1,030 for a charity that supported him and his family.

Read more
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Trustee member Adrian Ford and chairman Rachel Johnstone presented flowers to June Waters on her last day as a volunteer at the Sid Valley Memory Cafe.

A widow has backed the Sid Valley Memory Café’s Admiral Nurse Campaign after marrying twice and seeing both husbands suffer from dementia.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Josh Gutierrez will soon be heading off to Cambodia where he will take part in a VSO project. Ref shs 7653-34-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A university graduate has quit his job to go and help families in a struggling third world country.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
A vintage teddy donated to Jeannie and John's appeal

A couple’s appeal to raffle off teddy bears to thank a prostate cancer charity has captured the imagination of the town – and revealed the impact of the little-discussed illness.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015

Sid Valley residents are being warned to be on their guard against fraudsters claiming to offer a discount or rebate on council tax.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5777-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Pictues:

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition


Devon's trusted business finder