Committee for asset transfers

Monday December 10th 2018

Midlothian Community Asset Transfer Committee

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A new committee established to oversee requests for council assets to be transferred to the community is holding its first meeting.

Midlothian Council has established a Community Asset Transfer Committee to decide future asset requests.

The move comes after the Scottish Government introduced the Community Empowerment Act which gives community groups the right to request any land or buildings from public bodies.

It will meet this week to discuss a request from Loanhead After School Club (LASC) to lease a community garden for 12 years.

The club, which is based on George Avenue, already uses the garden, which is owned by the council and lies adjacent to the Link building.

A report to the committee says the club has no formal agreement to use the land and has asked for a 12-year lease to tie in with the tenure it has of the building.

The strip of land lies on Mayburn Walk at the front of the club building and runs up to the boundary of a new council play park.

The committee is recommended to approve the lease under the condition the garden remained open to the public during the working hours of the building adjoining it and is used for community benefit.

The report on the transfer points out it “will require the applicant to meet the costs of maintaining the community garden.”

LASC took over the Link building after acquiring it from the Big Lottery following the dissolution of Loanhead Community Learning Association last year.

They said the Link will be home to their after school club and out of school childcare activities as well as being open to the public for a wide range of uses including a cafe, soft play rooms and clubs.

LASC said: “We seek to make The Link a vibrant, welcoming community hub for new and existing residents alike.”

Adding it would benefit the community by “creating a safe, welcoming and accessible outdoor garden and creative play area for children using our childcare services, including those with additional support needs, and other users of the Link including older people.”

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