Bradford City supporters ask Council to name Valley Parade as a community asset (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Supporters’ Trust in bid to use legislation to protect ground from being sold off
A group of Bantams’ supporters hope to persuade councillors to put legal safeguards in place to stop Valley Parade from being sold off from under the club’s nose.
Bradford City Supporters’ Trust, which represents fans, is believed to be the first club in Yorkshire to try to use new ‘community asset’ legislation to protect the ground for years to come.
The Bantams pay £370,000 annually in rent to former chairman Gordon Gibb’s family pension fund as part of a 25-year lease that runs until 2029.
There is no indication that the landlords would want to sell the ground but the Trust has applied to have it recognised as a community asset as an added form of protection.
The application has now been recommended for approval at the next meeting of the Bradford West Area Committee on Wednesday.
The new legislation, which formed part of the 2011 Localism Act, means that communities can apply to have land or buildings which benefit the area named as an ‘asset of community value’.
This means that if the owner of such an asset were to put it up for sale, they would have to notify the Council, and community groups and parish councils would then be able to bid for the property if they wanted to.
The landowner has no objections to the move, the Council report says.
Manningham Mills Community Association has handed in a similar application, to list land and buildings to the back of Lister’s Mill in Lilycroft Road, Manningham, as an asset of community value.
This has also been recommended for approval, even though it fails one of four tests – whether it is used mainly for the benefit of the community.
The Council report says the land and property is currently unused and not open to the public.
But the report says Manningham Mills Community Association wants to turn the land into a community allotment, orchard and horticultural training project.
It says property owner Urban Splash would consider transferring the property to the community, and supports the application.
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