Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Charity told it doesn’t have to go

THE Fish volunteer centre in Sonning Common is welcome to stay at its current home, say the owners.

The charity is currently based at part of a house in Kennylands Road, which it leases from former GP Dr Peter Hemphill.

But it has bid £130,000 to buy the former police station in Lea Road in order to ensure its long-term future by owning its own building.

The semi-detached property is owned by EXP Property Investments, which plans to redevelop the rest of the site.

Dr Hemphill’s son Richard said: “They are welcome to stay on as long as they like. We want to be flexible. We’re not too worried either way.”

Fish chairman Richard McQuillan thanked the family but said he hoped the move would go ahead.

The charity, which provides transport to villagers in need, will spend an additional £10,000 on legal fees and stamp duty on top of the sale price.

It has applied for a £70,000 capital grant from South Oxfordshire District Council but was informed it could receive about half of this.

It has raised £7,200 so far through a “buy a brick” scheme and has also been offered £2,500 by the Mulberry Trust once it has exchanged contracts.

Mr McQuillan said that Fish planned to spend £30,000 from its reserves to help fund the purchase.

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