The future of the Quarterdeck youth club is safe, councillors have been told at a meeting tonight.
The site, in Zion Place, Margate, is one of seven earmarked for sale under a new asset disposal list drawn up by Thanet council.
The club is run by Kent County Council. Activities include Duke of Edinburgh award schemes, sessions for young carers, youngsters with disabilities and the Millmead Change 4 Life programme.
The centre also has vital weekend sessions for young people living with autism.
The inclusion of the building on the asset disposal list caused outrage among residents and a petition against the sale was raised.
But at a meeting of Cabinet members this evening it was revealed that Quarterdeck services will remain even if the site is sold because of a duty to honour the county council’s lease – which runs until 2063.
Council leader Chris Wells told the meeting that the ‘highly restrictive lease’ would ensure the KCC youth club remained at the site and they “would simply have a different landlord.”
A second plot on the asset list, the Garden Gate Project – a community garden scheme working with people living with mental ill health or disabilities – has been withdrawn.
Cllr John Townend, member for financial services, told the meeting that talks were taking place to secure long-term options for the site, including a possible transfer of the freehold.
The option to go forward with a consultation into the disposal of the seven remaining sites, and the list of assets earmarked for transfer to community groups or parish councils, was agreed.
Queries regarding the sale of land adjacent to 2 Park Place, which appears to be a privately owned house, and land at Eurokent are to be investigated.
Cllr Wells said the asset disposal was necessary with Thanet council owning some 600-700 sites but only having £600-700,000 per year for maintenance of the properties.
There will now be a three-week consultation period when ward councillors can give their views on the proposals.
Members of the public can also present their views to their ward councillors during this time. Not all assets listed may be disposed of during 2017.
Sites under consultation
Land at Phase 2 – Eurokent Business Park – open land off New Haine Road
Phase 1 – Eurokent Business Park – Industrial & office development
Land adjacent to 2 Park Place, Margate
Land at Hengist Road, Minnis Bay, Birchington
Northdown Garages and Store
Palm Bay Coach Park
Several sites, mainly shelters, for transfer to parish councils or community use.
Approval to go ahead with a 28 day consultation on proposals to change free car parks and on-street areas across Thanet to pay and display was also given.
See The Isle of Thanet News tomorrow (April 28) for the full report.