PLAINMOOR - ASSET of COMMUNITY VALUE
We are pleased to report that an application by TUST to renew the listing of the stadium as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) has been approved by Torbay Council and this will run for a further five years. The effect of the listing is that if the owners of the football stadium seek to sell their interest they must give interested community organisations such as TUST a six month window in which to prepare an offer. It does not give such organisations the right of first refusal to buy the asset. What it does do is give time for them to put together the funding necessary to bid to buy the asset on the open market. When TUST originally applied for the ACV listing in 2015 it was in response to concerns that the Council was, at the time, considering selling the freehold of Plainmoor to the Club’s owners. In 2017 it came to light that the ACV did not apply to the freehold but only the Club’s leasehold interest. TUST obtained independent legal advice confirming this to be the case. Whilst the ACV does not apply in the above circumstances, it does offer some protection if the Club were to acquire the freehold and subsequently wish to sell the ground for development. It is for this reason that TUST believe the renewal to be strategically important. To be clear, TUST policy does not oppose relocation of the football stadium providing such a move is fully supported by a robust business case and does not leave the Club exposed to unacceptable risk. We do believe that it is critical that the Council do not sell the freehold of Plainmoor to the Club’s owners without such guarantees in terms of Torquay United's longer term sustainability and place within the local community. We will continue to lobby resiliently to this end.
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