UPDATE: Contracts have now been exchanged and the Town Council is looking forward to the future development of the site into a Business and Serviced Office Centre for Crowborough.
Councillor Roy Galley, Wealden Cabinet member for Economic Development, said, "This sale represents the best value for Wealden District Council and the people of Crowborough. We look forward to continue to work with the Town Council to complete the deal."
Crowborough's Town Mayor, Councillor Ron Reed, said, "After months of negotiations I am delighted that we have been successful in our bid to purchase Pine Grove."
The Town Council held an Extraordinary meeting on 5th February 2015 to consider the possibility of creating an Enterprise Centre and Community Hub at the former district council offices at Pine Grove. Please click here to read the minutes of this meeting.
At the meeting it was resolved to make an offer to Wealden District Council for the Pine Grove offices and car park (this parcel is known as Lot 2), the transfer of the freehold of the Crowborough Community Centre and the freehold of the Bluebell Wood and this has been done.
In order to finance the Pine Grove project the council will need to borrow funds. At the Town Council Extraordinary meeting 5th February 2015 it was agreed to apply for a loan of £2,650,000 through the Public Works Loan Board for the project. The repayments for a twenty year loan will be in the region of £171,000 each year and in order to service the loan repayments, it has been necessary to increase the Council Tax.
Part of the criteria for applying for a loan is to provide information about the project plans and the proposal for borrowing. Therefore, there was a thorough consultation with the residents of Crowborough which took place week beginning 9th March 2015. Leaflets were delivered and residents had an opportunity to have their say as to whether they supported the Town Council purchase of the Pine Grove Office building.
1,772 valid responses were received to the consultation which represented 10.69% of the electors of Crowborough;1,163 people responded in favour of the proposal and 609 people responded against the proposal. Please click here for a detailed report. Thank you to everyone who took part.