A LAST-ditch attempt to save Watchet’s old council chamber for the community has failed after a sale was agreed with a private bidder, it was revealed this week.
Campaigners had hoped that an anonymous local resident would buy the historic listed building and allow the community to rent or buy it, but the offer was withdrawn and a sale has now been agreed with a new bidder.
It is understood the building will be used as a fishing-tackle shop.
A council statement yesterday confirmed that that an offer for the chamber had been accepted and the sale was being processed.
Local resident Emma Boulton, who put forward a proposal to use the building as a meeting room and exhibition space if it was bought from the council, said: “Watchet Town Council decided to invest £60,000 in a project to revamp the boat museum and create a new visitor centre and council offices and always intended to sell the old chamber to recoup this spend.
“The council claimed that the building was unfit for purpose and needed £80,000 of work just to maintain it and that it was unsuitable for disabled, access yet senior citizens have met there for the last 40 years.
“It was enjoyed and valued by visitors and local residents, but sadly the council itself did not value it.
“It’s an ignominious end to a civic building that was an expression of pride in our town and its people for 100 years.”