Bitter row resolved over Devoran Pre-School premises
A long-running row over council premises and a village pre-school appears to have been resolved.
The issue of whether Devoran Pre-School should be able to rent space in the former Market Hall site had previously split the community and prompted rancourous exchanges at Feock Parish Council meetings.
But the parish council saw a new intake of councillors in last year’s elections who campaigned on a platform for change and vowed to find a solution to the bitter dispute.
The parish council has now signed a 10-year lease with the pre-school and children are already using the facilities.
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Tim Smithies, who led the negotiations on behalf of Feock Parish Council, said he was “delighted” with the result.
He said: “This both satisfies the very clearly expressed community aspiration for children to be brought back again into the centre of our local community and it also fulfils the parish councils fiduciary obligation to obtain a proper commercial rent for this publicly owned property.”
Mr Smithies said the new lease would provide almost five times as much income as had been gained by renting the premises out by the hour.
Will Johnson, chairman of the Devoran Pre-School committee, said: “We are relieved that the prior impasse over the terms to occupy these new premises has now been resolved to enable us to relocate to the Market Hall site.”
Mr Johnson said the pre-school had been forced to turn children away because of a lack of space.
He said: “This relocation enables us to increase capacity in an excellent facility which is also adjacent to the local park. This is the beginning of a new era for our community run pre-school and it will enable us to offer some excellent new services and facilities to local parents and children in the future.”
Devoran Pre-School has undertaken to make the premises available to qualifying local community groups on an hourly rental basis during some evenings, weekends and school holidays.