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Concern over threat to ancient house in Lewes
Fears are growing for the future of a historic building.
East Sussex County Council is due to stop holding weddings, civil partnerships and other registration services at Southover Grange in Lewes next year.
Weddings and partnerships will be held at Lewes Town Hall as a temporary measure instead until a permanent new site is found.
Registration appointments will also be temporarily moved to offices at Sackville House in Brooks Close.
The county council leases part of the Grade II listed building from its owner, Lewes District Council, but is not planning to renew the lease when it expires next year.
One of the reasons for this is the lack of disabled access to the site along with a wider review by the county council on the properties and buildings it uses.
People in the town are now demanding clarification from the district council about the building’s future.
Karen Miles, from the Save Our Grange campaign, said: “People have travelled from all over to use the grange for a wedding venue and people are very unhappy that this is due to be lost. It is important the council listens to and engages with the community. We would urge people to contact the council with their concerns.
“We believe that by moving the registration to the town hall there will be a dramatic loss of business for Lewes which will impact on local jobs.”
Simon Hughes, the county council’s assistant chief executive, said: “We, like other authorities are looking at how we use property, our own assets as well as property we lease and we are all working together to ensure public assets deliver the best services in terms of value for money.”
The district council said it has no plans to sell the building.
A spokeswoman said: “Any proposal for the future use of the building will be carefully considered to balance the need to reduce costs, while delivering the best service for the community and protect the heritage of the building.”
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