Adam Afriyie rebuffed in questions over legal covenant that could scupper Colnbrook Museum project
The Colnbrook Museum project could have hit a road block in the form of a legal covenant that could prevent the Village Hall from being extended. But the issue appears to have split councillors following the intervention of MP Adam Afriyie.
Now pay attention because this is a little complicated.
A war of words appears to have broken out in the Village Hall over … who owns the Village Hall itself. Or, more specifically, the possibility that a legal covenant might exist that could scupper ambitious plans to extend the Village Hall to house a Colnbrook Museum, the Parish Council’s flagship project.
The town’s MP, Adam Afriyie, has attempted to resolve the situation – but to no avail.
Mr Afriyie wrote to the Parish Council in March concerning a query sent to him by an unnamed constituent, that suggested Land Registry documents show that a covenant is in place on the Village Hall preventing the property from being extended or being used for business purposes.
Parish Chair Cllr Scott Bryant felt that the issue of a covenant was down to the Colnbrook Village Hall Trust to deal with, as the landowners, but accepted that no parish money could be release for the Museum project until the legalities were settled. Mr Afriyie was subsequently advised that is was down to the Colnbrook Village Hall Trust (CVHT) to respond on matters that are relevant to them and not the Parish Council.
CVHT was asked to respond.
But in April Cllr Kinane attacked the Colnbrook Village Hall Trust, minutes reveal. He suggested that the Village Hall was not even owned by CVHT, and insisted that the Trust is operating illegally. He also claimed that former parish councillor Mike Rayner is noted incorrectly as the owner of the Village Hall by the Land Registry.
Cllr Angell told him to take the matter up with the Charity Commission or Police if he was concerned. Cllr Angell is also chairman of CVHT.
Cllr Kinane, who said he had already raised the matter with Mr Afriyie, was rebuked by for not declaring this at the meeting.
At last month’s meeting of the Parish Council the impasse continued further.
CVHT trustees had written to the Parish to insist that they would not be replying to Mr Afriyie, and that the Parish Council had no power to instruct them to do so. The full letter was read out, and the Chairman asked for comments.
Cllrs Angell, and Jackson – both double-hatting trustees of Colnbrook Village Hall Trust – and Cllr Kinane left the room while the matter was being discussed.
Cllr Scott Bryant is also noted as a serving trustee on the CVHT website, along with Cllr Hood’s wife Jill.
Following discussions it was agreed “that the Parish Council cannot reply or respond on behalf of any other organisation or body nor can it instruct them to do so. This was a matter for the CVHT to deal with in their own way.”
The matter was now closed and no further reply was to be sent to Mr Afriyie, whose query remains unanswered.
The matter of the ownership, covenant, or any future development of the site appears to have been left unresolved.