Community bid for hall rejected

The Whakatāne District Council has confirmed its previous decision to sell the Awakeri War Memorial Hall to the owner of the adjacent land, to facilitate the development of a significant tourism venture.

That follows the presentation of an alternative sale and purchase agreement to Council elected members at an extraordinary meeting today. Following extensive discussion, Councillors agreed by an 8:1 majority to proceed with the sale approved at its meeting on 31 August and to authorise the Chief Executive to enter into an agreement for sale and purchase of the hall, subject to the relocation of the Scout Den on the property from the proceeds of the sale and to suitable arrangements being made for the relocation of the war memorial in memory of soldiers who fell in World Wars l and ll.

In reaching their decision, Councillors took into account the significant economic and recreational benefits the local and District communities would gain from the proposed tourism development of the site and the adjoining property; the likely costs and limitations associated with retaining the hall in community ownership; and the availability of a superior, community-owned events centre in close proximity to the hall.

The terms and conditions of the original agreement will be released to the public once the sale becomes unconditional.

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