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Woolton Hill stores/Post Office scratched from assets register

Move follows concerns raised by proprietor

Jane Meredith

Reporter:

Jane Meredith

Contact:

01635 886637

Post Office

WOOLTON Hill Stores and Post Office has been removed from the village community assets register after the proprietor raised concerns. 

Amit Patel and his wife Vaishali, proprietors of the stores in Broadlayings, were at a meeting of East Woodhay Parish Council on July 18, at the invitation of the parish council.

The council wants to include village assets, such as pubs and shops, on the register in order to protect them as cherished, key parts of the community.

However, Mr Patel had raised concerns, arguing that he had no intention of closing the shop and that, on the contrary, he was hoping to refurbish and expand the business which is well used in the village.

He added that he and his wife were committed to the business and the village, where they enjoyed living.

Following the parish council meeting, a private meeting was arranged between Mr and Mrs Patel, accompanied by their solicitor and councillors.

As a result, Sadie Owen, clerk to the parish council, said: “Given the assurances provided not to sell the Post Office Stores and the concerns expressed by Mr and Mrs Patel, EWPC decided that it would not be pursuing its proposal to register the Post Office Stores as an Asset of Community Value at this time.”

A relieved Mr Patel said he and his family were very happy with this outcome, and added: “We don’t have any plans to leave.”

His other concerns on the register had included the likely expense of obtaining three quotes for valuations of the business, at an estimated cost of £1,000 each, after being approached by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which holds the assets register.

He was also concerned that, once nominated for the community assets register, the property was likely to be marked as such by the Land Registry.

After last month’s parish council meeting, chairman, James Mitchell, said the council’s intention was “not to disadvantage the entrepreneur, but at the same time, protect assets of community value under the Localism Act”.

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