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Open day at former community centre in Chewton

Pile of newspapers wrapped in string.

Council will hold an open day at the former community centre in Chewton on Saturday 28 March to help inform the public submissions process on a proposal to dispose of the building.

Friday 13 March 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council will hold an open day from 10am to 1pm on Saturday 28 March at the former Chewton Community Centre in Chewton, and has extended the closure date for public submissions on a proposal to dispose of the building.

The former Wesleyan Church building, located at 205 Main Road in Chewton, is in a poor state of repair with rising damp and termite damage, and has been closed to the public since 2010 due to safety risks.

Council has agreed to open the building with strict controls to allow the public to inspect the building and help inform the submissions process following a request from the Chewton community at the Council Meeting last month.

Community members will have restricted access to the former church to see inside the former community centre. Due to the condition of the building, they will be permitted in small numbers and asked to stay behind safety barricades and follow any signage.

By way of background Council resolved to sell the former Wesleyan Church back in 2017 and start the process of sub-dividing the associated land to subdivide the church from the Senior Citizens building to enable the sale.

The cost to restore and maintain the building to meet public facility standards is significant, and there are several other facilities available for community use in Chewton, Elphinstone and Castlemaine, less than five kilometres away.

The resolution was passed following public notice of Council’s intent to sell the property in accordance with Sections 189 and 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 (LGA).

The subdivision process is almost complete and the building will soon be ready for sale. However, due to the passage of time, it was deemed best practice for Council to provide new public notice to notify the community of its intention to sell the building. The proceeds would be used to fund priorities identified in the Long Term Financial Plan and Annual Budget.

The community is invited to make a submission on Council’s intention to sell the former Chewton Community Centre as resolved at the Ordinary Council Meeting in December 2019.

For more information on the proposal visit the Have your say section of Council’s website or contact Lynne Williamson, Property Portfolio Coordinator on 5471 1700.

The closing date for public submissions has been extended to 5.00pm on Thursday 9 April.

Submitters who wish to speak in support of their submission will be heard at an Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held at a date to be determined.

Council already owns or manages around 240 buildings. It is difficult to justify restoration of the building in the current economic environment when there are a range of other community buildings available for public use in the area.

What: Open day at former Chewton Community Centre
When: 10.00am – 1.00pm, Saturday 28 March
Where: 205 Main Road, Chewton

For more information visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

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