Charity could look to buy cricket club land

A possible solution has been suggested following a lively public meeting over the future of St John Ambulance in Braunton.

The organisation had to leave its Heanton Street premises, which were condemned on health and safety grounds, but a proposal to renovate the building on the Recreation Ground had been rejected by the parish council.

At a busy meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation, an unlooked for suggestion was made for St John to speak to Braunton Cricket Club, which reportedly had land to spare and was willing to sell.

The meeting was chaired by district Councillor Des Brailey and attended by around 40 members of the public plus representatives from the parish council, St John and the football club.

St John had proposed demolishing or partly demolishing the Rec building and creating a new headquarters with ambulance garage plus toilets and changing facilities that it suggested could also be used by the football club, which uses the building at present.

The council had voted to reject the proposal because they felt it would set a precedent of building on valuable public open space.

The meeting minutes said it had been decided to speak to the cricket club in the first instance.

“In my view the public are 100 percent in support of the organisation staying in Braunton,” said Roy Lucas, St John chairman.

“The cricket club said they had plenty of ground and would like to sell it to us. Now we are going to have detailed negotiations on how we can go about it.

“At the moment I am very pleased with what has come forward.”

St John has been renting St Brannock’s Rooms after its previous home was declared unfit for use.