Bid to save St John's Court hits 'brick wall'

PUBLISHED: 06:30 22 July 2016

St John's Court

St John's Court

Archant

An application to have an under-threat mental health facility declared a community asset has been rejected by the district council.

Dot Taylor, a campaigner trying to save St John’s Court from being sold, has been told the building does not qualify as an ‘asset to the community’.

Owner NHS Devon Partnership Trust (DPT) is looking to sell the building and move mental health services to an alternative location, once one is found.

Mrs Taylor said: “We were trying to explore every available avenue to keep St John’s Court open. We have come up against a brick wall.”

Under the scheme, East Devon District Council gives people the chance to save buildings of importance, such as village shops, pubs, recreation grounds and libraries.

If successful, owners of the assets would have to notify the district council of their intentions to sell.

The council would then be obligated to tell all interested parties.

Glebe Field, Woodbury, and the Brittania Inn, Knowle, now known as the Dog and Donkey, are all assets to the community.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “The council has taken the decision not to list St John’s Court as a community asset, because it does not serve the social wellbeing of the community and its primary use is for healthcare purposes.

“The main use of the property is offices and the ‘care element’ of the facility does not fall into the category of a community asset under section 88 of the Localism Act, hence it should not be listed.”

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