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Confusion on who owns Waterhouses community building

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 12, 2014

The Hub building in Waterhouses where ownership is causing confusion

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CONFUSION has arisen over who owns a community building in Waterhouses.

The matter of ownership has come to light after the post office, which was located in part of the premises known at The Hub in Waterfall Lane, closed in May.

The building is also used by the village luncheon club, night classes, parties and for any community organisation which wants to hire it.

The issue of ownership was debated at a meeting of Waterhouses Parish Council when the clerk informed members that he had received details from the Land Registry stating that the parish council was listed as the owner.

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However, chairman of The Hub management committee said he understood that the building belonged to the Waterhouses Youth Project Charity.

He said: "I thought that the charity had bought the premises and that the trustees were the parish council. If the charity folded then I was also given to believe that the building would be transferred to the parish council.

"The building is a great resource for the community, but we have lost income since the rural children's centre folded as the Government withdrew funding. Now the post office has closed.

"The post office informed us that the postmistress wanted to resign. This I understood was owing to the post office business model, as they like it to be part of a shop or business premises.

"The position has been advertised but no-one has come forward.

"We want the facility to remain, but it is out of our control.

"We would like better communication with the parish council as no representative has been attending our meetings."

Councillor Andrew Carr said: "The parish council has always submitted the planning applications when changes have been made to the premises.

"We need to know where the deeds are."

Councillor John Goldstraw said he signed for the building in the 1990s when he was chairman of the authority.

He said: "I understood that money was levied on the rates to purchase the building from the county council. This is a grey area, but I do remember signing on behalf of the parish council."

Councillor David Stone said the parish council should have a representative attending The Hub management committee meetings.

He said: "We should resume sending someone and make sure we attend every meeting. It also appears that the ownership is not fully known. It is a concern."

Councillors John Harvey and Yvonne Gouldburn said that the title deeds obtained by the clerk clearly stated that the parish council owned the building.

The parish council and Mr Longson agreed to pursue the location of the deeds.

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