Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council celebrate community asset purchase of Pierremont Hall

The town council will now start phased repair works Copyright Judith Bennett, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

A lengthy process of Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council buying the freehold of Pierremont Hall, Retort House and associated buildings has finally been completed.

The town council announced today (April 4) that it has now made the purchase and will be carrying out a phased programme of refurbishment.

Pierremont Hall and Retort House were listed as community assets in 2014.

In February 2015 authority was granted to Thanet council officers to progress negotiations through the asset disposal process with Broadstairs Town Council as part of their community right to bid.

In 2016 TDC decided to accept the town council’s offer of £190,000 for the hall despite it being valued at £290,000.

The town council also offered £10,000 for Retort House, valued by TDC at £60,000. The acceptance of the bid was in recognition of it being retained for community use.

Plans for the hall discussed at the time the bid was accepted included using the space for a local history archive, a social club, events and offices.

Repairs

But work to renovate and repair the hall, possibly costing some £400,000, needs to take place first. Further work will also be needed at Retort House.

In 2015 many tenants had to leave the hall when Thanet council said it was unable to pay for necessary repairs to make the structure safe.

Those repairs will now be carried out by the town council.

‘Delighted’

In an announcement of the purchase the town council said: “We are delighted to announce that Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council has today completed the community asset purchase of Pierremont Hall and associated buildings, as well as Retort House and the sports centre in Albion Street car park, thus safeguarding them for the benefit of the town and its residents.

“The town council will be undertaking the much-needed refurbishment of the properties, phased over several years, providing facilities for both community and commercial organisations.

‘Challenging’

“This is a challenging enterprise with a great deal of work to be done. However, this will also provide local work opportunities as we move forward with the project.

“We would like to thank residents for their support and patience during this lengthy process and assure them that the council is determined to bring these buildings back into use for the benefit of all residents in Broadstairs and St Peter’s.”

Expressions of interest

The town council is now inviting businesses and community groups which would be interested in renting space or holding meetings at either Pierremont Hall or Retort House to get in touch.

Expressions of interest need to be made before 5pm on May 4.

Email town.clerk@broadstairs.gov.uk or write to Town Clerk, Pierremont Hall, Broadstairs, CT10 1JX.

More details of the process will be shared after the deadline.