Titchfield Haven nature reserve: Campaign to save visitor centre takes step forward as building is listed as asset of community value
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The move sparked a protest by Hill Head Residents' Association, which was backed by Fareham Borough Council. The association requested that Haven House be registered as an Asset of Community Value, which has been granted by Fareham Borough Council, the local authority.
This gives some protection to the site, because if the county goes ahead with its plans to sell the buildings, it must notify the borough of its intention.
The residents' association will then be given six months to prepare a bid for the purchase of the site, which cannot be sold to anyone else in the meantime.
Haven House has a visitor centre, café, meeting room, public toilets, office space and a ticket sales point for Titchfield Haven.
Pamela Charlwood, co-chair of the Hill Head Residents' Association said: ‘It’s a first step - well done Fareham, it’s all down to the county council now.
‘It’s great that it’s listed as an ACV but they could still make the decision on December 8 and close it on December 23 and make all the staff redundant.
‘They could still do that so there’s a need for huge pressure to be maintained on the county not to close it.
‘We’re pleased, the [Fareham] executive meeting was hugely supportive, every one of the Fareham councillors spoke strongly in support and we know the leader has said right from the word go what an appalling idea it is.’
Fareham council’s executive leader Seán Woodward, said: ‘I am very pleased that Haven House has met the criteria to be deemed an Asset of Community Value.
‘This is an incredibly well-attended venue with a popular café for local residents as well as walkers, cyclists, surfers and swimmers alike.
‘The Visitor Centre showcases art and craftwork from local talent and also holds community events throughout the year.
‘Haven House is a perfect candidate to be registered as an ACV and I hope this decision goes some way to protect the venue long into the future.’
The visitor centre and cwill be on the ACV register for up to five years.