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Conservative led council are putting pounds before people in Kingsclere.

September 7, 2021 8:53 AM
By Kerry Morrow

Conservative led council are putting pounds before people in Kingsclere. Help us save 24 Swan Street from the hands of private housing developers.

I was a candidate at the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council elections in May this year and continue to be a campaigner for the Tadley North, Baughurst and Kingsclere ward. I am very disappointed that 24 Swan Street in Kingsclere has been put on the property market. I understand the need to be financially responsible, however, I believe there needs to be some consideration into the community impact of selling council owned buildings.

As of 6th September, 24 Swan Street will be up for sale on the open market, listed as:

FOR SALE FREEHOLD Office for owner occupation/Investment with development potential

Guide Price £750k

This paves the way for 3 town houses and 4 residential flats. 2 visitor spaces.

Currently, 24 Swan Street is:

A beautiful Grade 2 listed building, within a conservation area, that provides much needed parking relief. Home to, amongst others, JLD School of Dance; a successful business approaching its 30-year anniversary. Home to Kingsclere Performing Arts College; a full-time vocational sixth form. Studios which accommodate over 200 students every week, some of which have attended The Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst, Urdang Academy, GSA and many more prestigious training institutions. Home to Baughurst Blades, a thriving local business that sharpens knives, clippers, blades and scissors. Home to Eira's Equestrian Supplies serving the local stables and horse owner community.

The Council have decided to sell, but we can still fight for the 24 Swan Street that we want. I choose the dancers over developers. I hope you do too.

The Kingsclere Parish Council has consulted with residents and taken the action of nominating 24 Swan Street as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). An ACV is a building that furthers the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community. ACVs and the follow-on Community Right to Bid are very important and were implemented to allow the opportunity to keep buildings such as 24 Swans Street in public use. A charity trust is being set up to raise funds to buy the building to form Kingsclere Performing Arts and Youth Centre. This could secure the future of the current occupants, manage the parking on site and also provide a home for the local youth club.

As a local campaigner, I believe 24 Swan Street is an Asset of Community Value and if managed correctly could become an activity hub for the young in the area. The future of the building should be secured for generations to come, so young and old can enjoy dancing, Taekwondo, Yoga and other activities. Covid and cuts to services have left people isolated. We need youth clubs, we need dance schools, we need local businesses, we need 24 Swan Street.

Please sign the petition below:


Let's put a stop to losing our much needed community assets.