Future of Halesowen Sons of Rest building to be decided this week

Halesowen News: The executive committee of Hasbury Community Association, including Ian Cooper second from the left, outside the Sons of Rest. The executive committee of Hasbury Community Association, including Ian Cooper second from the left, outside the Sons of Rest.

THE future of a cherished Sons of Rest building in Halesowen is set to be settled imminently.

Despite a deal being expected to be done last Summer Dudley Council have yet to sanction the transfer ownership of Hasbury Sons of Rest to local residents.

The Hasbury Community Association had been in the driving seat to take over the building, which was built to honour Halesowen’s war dead, but the Women's Awareness Association also applied to take over the building.

Ian Cooper, chairman of the HCA, said: "It has been a frustrating process which has taken the best part of a year.

"However, Dudley Council have confirmed a decision will be made in the next week and hopefully we will be successful as we have put a lot of work into the bid."

He added: "Before Christmas, after a protracted period of negotiations with the council and another community group that is interested in the building, we submitted a second business plan.

"We were told that this would be considered by the Council's Corporate Property Group in February, but in early February we were informed that they had moved consideration of our application to their March meeting."

The HCA is a registered company and plans using the building, which was used as senior citizens centre for several years but was set to be demolished by Dudley Council, as a community centre.

Mr Cooper added: "We are very confident in the quality of our business plan. It has undergone a number of revisions and we have taken advice and received support from a wide range of groups and organisations."

The group used Localism Act legislation to halt the sale of the building and the community asset transfer scheme is a new Dudley Council policy.

The Sons of Rest in Hasbury will be the first attempt use the new policy to hand a community asset over to residents to run, it was left to the townspeople of Halesowen in 1947.

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