Six month stay of execution as Town Council blocks land sale

MOSSLEY Town Council has served notice that it wants to be treated as a potential bidder for two plots of land registered as assets of community value… even though it does not have the cash to buy them.They are hoping their decision, which triggers a six-month moratorium, will give other would-be purchasers the time to put together bids from community groups to keep the land at Greaves Street and Cross Street out of the clutch of developers.

Town Council chair Councillor Frank Travis said: “Our move is to open up the matter to a wider public consultation.

“Over the next six months we will be trying publicise the fact this land is available.”

Tameside Council were informed by Alfred Newton Solicitors, who were acting on behalf of the two owners, they were intending to dispose of the two plots, the car park on Cross Street and area near the cobbled path.

They in turn notified Mossley Town Council, the body which nominated the land to be included in Tameside Council’s register of assets of community value.

Planning consent has already been secured for three houses on the car park site and two properties near the cobbled steps.The legal firm added the owners have no present intention to dispose of the residue of the land which is also included in the register of assets of community value.

The notification triggered an initial six-week moratorium from the time Tameside Council was notified. This expired on October 18.

During that period, a community interest group could submit a written request to the council that it wished to be treated as a potential bidder.

And in this period the owners of the land are prevented from advertising or marketing the plots for sale.

Mossley Town Council called an extraordinary general meeting to discuss what to do as the October 18 deadline came before its next scheduled gathering.

Town councillors Stephen Homer and Martin Stimson questioned if it was realistic to bid for the land when they could not find funds for a street cleaning programme in the town.

It was suggested the town council could register interest to be “mischievous”.

However, it was decided that registering interest would buy time to any other community group to come forward with a bid to prevent the land from being developed and ensure it is retained as an open space.

At the end of the protected period on March 6, 2020, the owners will be permitted to sell the land to anybody they choose.

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