Great Barrow Community Shop Ltd

JANUARY UPDATE

Since our last update, we have had 2 joint meetings with the PC (17th November and 2nd December), and there has been an Extraordinary PC Meeting on 19th January where the shop was discussed.

Since taking over from the First Committee in September 2020, the new team have been working diligently to understand the issues surrounding the lease whilst also working on a multitude of tasks in order to be in a position to open a shop (including organising the full resident survey),

During our research the following has become clear:

BPPFF ( Barrow Parish Playing Field Foundation)

Originally the shop was proposed to open at the village hall. A proposal was later put forward to move the shop to the Pavilion with the original Pavilion being demolished and a new one built.

Having reviewed the BPPFF Constitution there are a number of issues that should have been discussed when the proposal was made, ahead of parties signing a Heads of Terms document or grant monies being obtained. These are as follows:

–  The playing field and the Pavilion are subject to a licence agreement between the PC and the Barrow Parish Playing Field Foundation (BPPFF). The BPPFF has been set up as a charity. Its committee members are in fact charitable trustees and should ensure that the rules outlined in the Constitution are followed. 

– Under those rules, Clause 20 states that ‘If the committee decides at any time …to discontinue the use of the Foundation Property [which includes the pavilion] in whole or in part for the purposes set out in clause 1 [by providing facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation] …it shall call a meeting of the inhabitants’ for a vote. The vote must have a 75% majority of those in attendance to go ahead. 

A shop may not fall within the definition of the allowed use of ‘recreation and leisure-time occupation’. A vote of the Parish (and not just shareholders) should have been held at this point in order for the BPPFF licence to have been dealt with correctly and in accordance with its constitution. The recent vote did not deal with this issue, only ‘who would run it’ not whether one should be run at all. 

– As this has not taken place, it may be necessary for the Charities Commission to be involved to retrospectively approve that the licence be given up or the Pavilion used for a shop. Without this, the PC may not legally be able to provide a lease to another party (including the GBCSL)

– There are other parties who have licences from the BPPFF for use of the playing field and Pavilion, for example the Bowling Club and Football Club. These licences would also require review and those parties consulted before a lease could be granted. 

– Clause 24 prohibits an application for the sale of alcohol on any of its premises. Councillors present at the meetings with us were clearly not aware of this provision, openly discussing the possibility of the sale of alcohol at the Pavilion. A licence has been purchased by the First Committee, however, if used, would potentially breach the BPPFF charity rules.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANT

Since 1961 the Parish Council has owned the playing field. The land was transferred by deed to the PC by S. Ryedeard. However, in the transfer deed there is a restrictive covenant which prohibits a building being placed on the playing field for any purpose other than for playing field or recreational purposes without the previous owners consent. 

This would therefore prohibit the Pavilion being used for a shop if the relevant approval wasn’t provided. The previous owner of this covenant and the one who would need to originally provide approval has passed away. It is unclear whether this restriction has transferred to anyone under their will (if they had one) or via intestate rules. It has also come to light in our investigations that other parties may have a right to enforce this covenant as part of their title deeds. 

At the very least, this needs to be understood so that the relevant insurance is in place should a challenge be brought against a shop. Without this, any challenge would put a financial strain on the shop and would put shareholders funds at risk. At worst, it may require the closure of a shop on the site.

When the Land was registered by the PC in September 2019, the PC should have become aware of this restrictive covenant if they weren’t already; the title deeds are necessary to show ownership on registering the land. Unfortunately this information was not provided to us during handover from the First Committee and the PC have not yet provided clarification of ownership on this point for us to agree an appropriate course of action.

PLANNING CONDITIONS 

Our investigations with the planning office have shown that there are a number of planning conditions for the Pavilion that are outstanding. Until these have been signed off, we would be reluctant to enter the building and trade. 

In short, there are a number of issues that require urgent attention from the PC. Many of these issues should have been fully investigated and dealt with prior to the demolition of the Pavilion and grant monies being obtained by either party. The Heads of Terms document showed the intentions of the parties at the outset of the project and was relied upon in order for both parties to obtain grant and shareholder funding. Although we have always maintained our understanding that the HofT finer details may be subject to negotiation, we do not feel this extends to the ability of the PC being able to grant a lease to a shop at all.

Our disappointment over the current situation has been made clear to the PC and we need to ensure they are legally in a position to grant a lease for the Pavilion. We have requested a number of questions are answered at the next PC Meeting due to be held in March.

Copies of the Heads of Terms document, BPPFF Constitution and Transfer Deeds are available on the Barrow website for residents to read if they wish.

As a result of our investigations we have no option but to forward this information to CWaC and the Charities Commission for them to determine whether further investigation is required.

We share the frustrations shareholders and residents will feel on reading this information. The current committee took over in September 2020 in good faith on the belief that there were only a few minor points in the lease to be reconciled to be able to open a shop. The reality of what we have inherited is woefully short of this being the case. I am saddened that we have been placed in this situation and that I am unable to bring you all better news. 

We will provide an update when we have further information.  

Great Barrow Community Shop Ltd

JANUARY UPDATE

Since our last update, we have had 2 joint meetings with the PC (17th November and 2nd December), and there has been an Extraordinary PC Meeting on 19th January where the shop was discussed.

Since taking over from the First Committee in September 2020, the new team have been working diligently to understand the issues surrounding the lease whilst also working on a multitude of tasks in order to be in a position to open a shop (including organising the full resident survey),

During our research the following has become clear:

BPPFF

Originally the shop was proposed to open at the village hall. A proposal was later put forward to move the shop to the Pavilion with the original Pavilion being demolished and a new one built.

Having reviewed the BPPFF Consitution there are a number of issues that should have been discussed when the proposal was made, ahead of parties signing a Heads of Terms document or grant monies being obtained. There are as follows:

–  The playing field and the Pavilion are subject to a licence agreement between the PC and the Barrow Parish Playing Field Foundation (BPPFF). The BPPFF has been set up as a charity. Its committee members are in fact charitable trustees and should ensure that the rules outlined in the Constitution are followed. 

– Under those rules, Clause 20 states that ‘If the committee decides at any time …to discontinue the use of the Foundation Property [which includes the pavilion] in whole or in part for the purposes set out in clause 1 [by providing facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation] …it shall call a meeting of the inhabitants’ for a vote. The vote must have a 75% majority of those in attendance to go ahead. 

A shop may not fall within the definition of the allowed use of ‘recreation and leisure-time occupation’. A vote of the Parish (and not just shareholders) should have been held at this point in order for the BPPFF licence to have been dealt with correctly and in accordance with its constitution. The recent vote did not deal with this issue, only ‘who would run it’ not whether one should be run at all. 

– As this has not taken place, it may be necessary for the Charities Commission to be involved to retrospectively approve that the licence be given up or the Pavilion used for a shop. Without this, the PC may not legally be able to provide a lease to another party (including the GBCSL)

– There are other parties who have licences from the BPPFF for use of the playing field and Pavilion, for example the Bowling Club and Football Club. These licences would also require review and those parties consulted before a lease could be granted. 

– Clause 24 prohibits an application for the sale of alcohol on any of its premises. Councillors present at the meetings with us were clearly not aware of this provision, openly discussing the possibility of the sale of alcohol at the Pavilion. A licence has been purchased by the First Committee, however, if used, would potentially breach the BPPFF charity rules.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANT

Since 1961 the Parish Council has owned the playing field. The land was transferred by deed to the PC by S. Ryedeard. However, in the transfer deed there is a restrictive covenant which prohibits a building being placed on the playing field for any purpose other than for playing field or recreational purposes without the previous owners consent. 

This would therefore prohibit the Pavilion being used for a shop if the relevant approval wasn’t provided. The previous owner of this covenant and the one who would need to originally provide approval has passed away. It is unclear whether this restriction has transferred to anyone under their will (if they had one) or via intestate rules. It has also come to light in our investigations that other parties may have a right to enforce this covenant as part of their title deeds. 

At the very least, this needs to be understood so that the relevant insurance is in place should a challenge be brought against a shop. Without this, any challenge would put a financial strain on the shop and would put shareholders funds at risk. At worst, it may require the closure of a shop on the site.

When the Land was registered by the PC in September 2019, the PC should have become aware of this restrictive covenant if they weren’t already; the title deeds are necessary to show ownership on registering the land. Unfortunately this information was not provided to us during handover from the First Committee and the PC have not yet provided clarification of ownership on this point for us to agree an appropriate course of action.

PLANNING CONDITIONS 

Our investigations with the planning office have shown that there are a number of planning conditions for the Pavilion that are outstanding. Until these have been signed off, we would be reluctant to enter the building and trade. 

In short, there are a number of issues that require urgent attention from the PC. Many of these issues should have been fully investigated and dealt with prior to the demolition of the Pavilion and grant monies being obtained by either party. The Heads of Terms document showed the intentions of the parties at the outset of the project and was relied upon in order for both parties to obtain grant and shareholder funding. Although we have always maintained our understanding that the HofT finer details may be subject to negotiation, we do not feel this extends to the ability of the PC being able to grant a lease to a shop at all.

Our disappointment over the current situation has been made clear to the PC and we need to ensure they are legally in a position to grant a lease for the Pavilion. We have requested a number of questions are answered at the next PC Meeting due to be held in March.

Copies of the Heads of Terms document, BPPFF Constitution and Transfer Deeds are available on the Barrow website for residents to read if they wish.

As a result of our investigations we have no option but to forward this information to CWaC and the Charities Commission for them to determine whether further investigation is required.

We share the frustrations shareholders and residents will feel on reading this information. The current committee took over in September 2020 in good faith on the belief that there were only a few minor points in the lease to be reconciled to be able to open a shop. The reality of what we have inherited is woefully short of this being the case. I am saddened that we have been placed in this situation and that I am unable to bring you all better news. 

We will provide an update when we have further information.  

Great Barrow Community Shop Ltd

JANUARY UPDATE

Since our last update, we have had 2 joint meetings with the PC (17th November and 2nd December), and there has been an Extraordinary PC Meeting on 19th January where the shop was discussed.

Since taking over from the First Committee in September 2020, the new team have been working diligently to understand the issues surrounding the lease whilst also working on a multitude of tasks in order to be in a position to open a shop (including organising the full resident survey),

During our research the following has become clear:

BPPFF

Originally the shop was proposed to open at the village hall. A proposal was later put forward to move the shop to the Pavilion with the original Pavilion being demolished and a new one built.

Having reviewed the BPPFF Consitution there are a number of issues that should have been discussed when the proposal was made, ahead of parties signing a Heads of Terms document or grant monies being obtained. There are as follows:

–  The playing field and the Pavilion are subject to a licence agreement between the PC and the Barrow Parish Playing Field Foundation (BPPFF). The BPPFF has been set up as a charity. Its committee members are in fact charitable trustees and should ensure that the rules outlined in the Constitution are followed. 

– Under those rules, Clause 20 states that ‘If the committee decides at any time …to discontinue the use of the Foundation Property [which includes the pavilion] in whole or in part for the purposes set out in clause 1 [by providing facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation] …it shall call a meeting of the inhabitants’ for a vote. The vote must have a 75% majority of those in attendance to go ahead. 

A shop may not fall within the definition of the allowed use of ‘recreation and leisure-time occupation’. A vote of the Parish (and not just shareholders) should have been held at this point in order for the BPPFF licence to have been dealt with correctly and in accordance with its constitution. The recent vote did not deal with this issue, only ‘who would run it’ not whether one should be run at all. 

– As this has not taken place, it may be necessary for the Charities Commission to be involved to retrospectively approve that the licence be given up or the Pavilion used for a shop. Without this, the PC may not legally be able to provide a lease to another party (including the GBCSL)

– There are other parties who have licences from the BPPFF for use of the playing field and Pavilion, for example the Bowling Club and Football Club. These licences would also require review and those parties consulted before a lease could be granted. 

– Clause 24 prohibits an application for the sale of alcohol on any of its premises. Councillors present at the meetings with us were clearly not aware of this provision, openly discussing the possibility of the sale of alcohol at the Pavilion. A licence has been purchased by the First Committee, however, if used, would potentially breach the BPPFF charity rules.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANT

Since 1961 the Parish Council has owned the playing field. The land was transferred by deed to the PC by S. Ryedeard. However, in the transfer deed there is a restrictive covenant which prohibits a building being placed on the playing field for any purpose other than for playing field or recreational purposes without the previous owners consent. 

This would therefore prohibit the Pavilion being used for a shop if the relevant approval wasn’t provided. The previous owner of this covenant and the one who would need to originally provide approval has passed away. It is unclear whether this restriction has transferred to anyone under their will (if they had one) or via intestate rules. It has also come to light in our investigations that other parties may have a right to enforce this covenant as part of their title deeds. 

At the very least, this needs to be understood so that the relevant insurance is in place should a challenge be brought against a shop. Without this, any challenge would put a financial strain on the shop and would put shareholders funds at risk. At worst, it may require the closure of a shop on the site.

When the Land was registered by the PC in September 2019, the PC should have become aware of this restrictive covenant if they weren’t already; the title deeds are necessary to show ownership on registering the land. Unfortunately this information was not provided to us during handover from the First Committee and the PC have not yet provided clarification of ownership on this point for us to agree an appropriate course of action.

PLANNING CONDITIONS 

Our investigations with the planning office have shown that there are a number of planning conditions for the Pavilion that are outstanding. Until these have been signed off, we would be reluctant to enter the building and trade. 

In short, there are a number of issues that require urgent attention from the PC. Many of these issues should have been fully investigated and dealt with prior to the demolition of the Pavilion and grant monies being obtained by either party. The Heads of Terms document showed the intentions of the parties at the outset of the project and was relied upon in order for both parties to obtain grant and shareholder funding. Although we have always maintained our understanding that the HofT finer details may be subject to negotiation, we do not feel this extends to the ability of the PC being able to grant a lease to a shop at all.

Our disappointment over the current situation has been made clear to the PC and we need to ensure they are legally in a position to grant a lease for the Pavilion. We have requested a number of questions are answered at the next PC Meeting due to be held in March.

Copies of the Heads of Terms document, BPPFF Constitution and Transfer Deeds are available on the Barrow website for residents to read if they wish.

As a result of our investigations we have no option but to forward this information to CWaC and the Charities Commission for them to determine whether further investigation is required.

We share the frustrations shareholders and residents will feel on reading this information. The current committee took over in September 2020 in good faith on the belief that there were only a few minor points in the lease to be reconciled to be able to open a shop. The reality of what we have inherited is woefully short of this being the case. I am saddened that we have been placed in this situation and that I am unable to bring you all better news. 

We will provide an update when we have further information.  

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