Monday, 15 December 2008

People have their say on Northdown House

Thanet district Council press release
More than 100 local people have turned out to discuss future options for Northdown House at a drop in session at the property.

The session, held last night (Wednesday 10 December), gave people the chance to have a look around the building, highlighting the difficult layout of the accommodation on the upper floors and the extent of repairs required to it.

Following responses from the council’s consultation earlier this year and subsequent legal advice, residents were given two options for the future use of the building. The first option is for public use, which could include education, health services, community or charitable usage. The second option is for transfer of Northdown House, with additional covenants, to the community itself.

Officers explained the detail of each proposal to local people and the fact that funding will need to be found for repairs to the building and to ensure that it is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act.

The session was attended by the Leader of the Council, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel. He said: “It was really encouraging to see so many people turning out to give their views on the future of Northdown House. We’re aware that people don’t want the building to close and the council has listened to that. Having said that, unfortunately, the council doesn’t have the resources to meet the high cost of outstanding repairs, so we do need to find a use that will address these issues. Whether that’s use by the community themselves or another public body is what we still need to consider and the session was very useful in giving us local people’s views on that issue.”

A decision on the future of Northdown House will be made by the council’s Cabinet early in 2009.

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