Town council's plea for time to save Pocklington's Burnby Hall from being sold off

Pocklington councillors have asked for time to work up a plan to save Burnby Hall from being sold off to a private developer.

The town council wants to work with other groups to keep the hall in community use.

It comes after the Stewarts Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum Trust (SBHGMT), which has been looking at taking over the building from East Riding Council (ERC), concluded it wasn't financially viable.

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At a recent ERC meeting, it was revealed the authority was now exploring opportunities to divest the property for commercial or residential use.

Burnby Hall is in the background. The gardens are unaffectedBurnby Hall is in the background. The gardens are unaffected
Burnby Hall is in the background. The gardens are unaffected

Mayor Coun Steve McCann said there had been a "complete lack of consultation" from ERC and the “overwhelming” view of residents was for the building to be used as a museum or community activities.

They’ve set up a small working group, with three groups already expressing an interest, including Pocklington District Heritage Trust which wants to showcase some of the amazing archeological finds made in the area.

Formerly the home of philanthropists Major and Mrs PM Stewart, Burnby Hall was separated from the adjacent gardens in the 1960s when it was bought by Pocklington Rural District Council as its headquarters

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In recent decades it has been maintained as offices by ERC, with the attached community hall used for public events.

SBHGMT chairman Chris Clubley said they’d considered the cost implications of taking the building on and “sadly reached the conclusion that to take on the hall as part of our estate would not be viable”.

ERC said they’d explore options with interested parties, including the town council “with a view to securing a long term, sustainable use" for the hall, complimenting its setting adjacent to the gardens”. It added: "There will be no immediate change to the usage of the building."