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To consider the minutes of the previous meetings held on the 7 August and 14 December 2017 (to follow).
The minutes of the previous meetings held on the 7 August and 14 December 2017 were approved as a correct record.
To consider the nomination of Andrewsfield Airfield, Stebbing and Great Saling as an asset of community value.
RESOLVED to reject the nomination of Andrewsfield Airfield as an Asset of Community Value.
The Head of Legal Services explained the concept of an Asset of Community Value, as defined by the Localism Act 2011. He said the application was complex and identified three uses of the Airfield as set out in the nomination application:
· Clubhouse (or “Milibar”); and
· Open Space
The Head of Legal Services asked Members to consider:
· Whether an actual current use of the nominated land and buildings that is not an ancillary use furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, and
· Whether it is realistic to think that there can continue to be non-ancillary use of the building or other land which will further (whether or not in the same way) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.
Members asked whether the land was excluded from listing as “operational land”. The Head of Legal Services said that “operational land” had a technical meaning and, in this context, meant an airport licensed under Part V of the Airports Act 1986. He understood that the airfield held a licence under Part III of the Act but that this did not bring the land within the definition of “operational”.
The Chairman said she had concluded from the evidence presented that the clubhouse use met the test for an asset of community value, as it was open to the community in its own right and hosted community meetings and events. This was a significant use in its own right and was not subsidiary to another major use.
Members were of the view that, on the basis of the nomination, there was insufficient information for them to conclude that the airfield and open space uses passed the test for listing.
Members were also of the view that the clubhouse use met the second limb of the test. The clubhouse was a going concern and it was realistic to think that it could continue to be used in a similar manner in future. Members discussed the planning position regarding the site and, given the early stage which the local plan process had reached, did not believe that this made continuing use unrealistic.
Members were mindful that the clubhouse use related only to a part of the nominated land, which included the whole of the airfield. The community clubhouse use did not relate to the wider airfield and members considered whether it was appropriate to list the whole of the land nominated.
The Head of Legal Services advised that the legal position was uncertain. There was limited authority to suggest that it might be possible to list a wider parcel of land even if use of only part of it furthered the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community. He referred to a decision of the First Tier Tribunal. (Uptin House -v- Newcastle City Council.)
Members concluded that the circumstances in that case, which related to a single building in multiple use, differed from the current nomination, given the lack of relationship between ... view the full minutes text for item 6.