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Clock ticking on bid to buy village shop
THE deadline has been set and the clock is ticking on a community’s bid to buy its local corner shop.
Wolvercote residents want to buy the Post Box after it was put up for sale and have registered it as an asset of community value under the terms of the Localism Act 2011.
This could prompt a bidding contest and the possibility of it being bought by local people.
Members of the community have set up the Wolvercote Community Benefit Society and have applied to the city council to become the preferred bidder.
A member of the group’s steering committee, Rosamund Road resident Steve Lunn, said the owner of the shop is currently asking for £400,000, but that the community group would not be able to pay that much.
He said: “How much we are aiming to raise depends on what the price is.
“We cannot pay more than it is worth because our investment is recoverable only by selling the property.
“We are hoping to meet the owner soon to have an all-cards-on-the-table meeting and see if we can meet in the middle.”
The city council has already said the site is important to the local community The bidding that will now take place was set up by the Government to allow local people to buy sites that might otherwise be sold off by owners to developers without residents’ input.
The launch of bidding has triggered a six month period during which the shop cannot be sold, while the group can raise funds and negotiate with the owner. This period expires on January 23, 2014.
Michael Crofton Briggs, Oxford City Council’s head of development, said: “The Post Box has an important community function.”
The current owner of the Post Box is Kidlington resident Colin Crozier, whose family has owned the shop since it was built in the 1930s.
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