The Parish Council (PC) own a piece of land that they purchased 18 months ago for a new community/sports project but it will hand the land over once planning is obtained to a new charitable trust set up about a year ago.
But until then as the PC owns the land.
There was an alternative trust i.e. the village hall which will sell its current site to help fund this project and will become part of the new trust shouldn't they have been the ones to buy the land then the PC would have no official interest in the land.
When it comes up for planning should the whole PC declare an interest and leave the room including the clerk who is a member of the new trust?
In the meantime the PC have also been allocating funds from its reserves (£20,000 to date) to the new trust to pay for the planning application. When this has been questioned the PC have said as its for the interest of the village they can do what they like even if the village was told it was only the original sum required was for £5,000 towards a hall costing £400,000 the budget has now more than doubled as has the buildings size and is now estimated at £960,000.
The local planner's have already raised reservations in pre planning advice because of not providing enough parking facilities they may well reject the whole project anyway. The planners have also told the new trust members its very important that the village and the PC gives its blessing for the planning application when it comes to them for comment. This will also be the case for the bodies being approached for funding/grants.
When it comes to selling the land does the PC have the duty to get the highest price on offer or can the sell it to the new trust at the same price they paid for it? As the land with planning is now more valuable than without.