Apology after community centre land sale meeting cancelled amid huge crowd

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Lymington Centre
The queue for the meeting at the Lymington Centre stretched from the doors to the end of the road

THE chair of Lymington Community Association has apologised for the last-minute cancellation of a special general meeting after too many people showed up.

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Association members were set to vote at the public meeting last Thursday on the plan to sell part of the Lymington Centre’s car park to raise funds for a £2m refurbishment.

Interest was so great a queue stretched from the doors of the Fuller McLellan Hall to the edge of the road.

Staff from the centre were forced to announce that the hall had reached its maximum capacity and, due to fire safety regulations, the meeting could not take place.

Community association chair Anna Rostand told the A&T today: “I would like to apologise profusely for having to cancel the meeting but at the same time I am also delighted that so many people were interested.

“We are looking into other options as to when and where we can hold the meeting at a location that can accommodate a larger amount of people, and we will inform the interested parties as soon as we have finished investigating.”

Dennis Peters from Lymington attended the meeting and was able to get a seat in the hall before it was cancelled.

He told the A&T: “It was very surprising that so many people wanted to attend the meeting. They were still queuing out the door when they decided to cancel it and we all had to get up and leave.”

Part of the centre’s Celebrating 70 appeal, the facility took a big stride towards its £2m target with a grant of £900,000 from the town council, but that needs to match-funded within four years.

According to a trustees’ letter to members, only 10% has been raised so far despite recruiting the services of a professional fundraiser, so they proposed the car park sell-off as the “only viable way forward”.

Mrs Rostand stressed only part of the car park was being sold, and other parking would be created with the demolition of the “hazardous” John Howlett craft building.

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