LYME REGIS: Monmouth House looks set for a new future after the Lyme Regis Development Trust agreed to offer the building to the Community Land Trust (CLT) and the town council. Councillors were previously told the Development Trust planned to sell the property because of the increasing costs of maintaining the building in Monmouth Street – which was given to the trust by the GF Eyre Charitable Trust to house vulnerable people in the town.

The news of the offer comes after fears that affordable housing for ‘local people’ in Lyme could be lost due to the rented tenant’s Right to Acquire scheme.

Councillors recommended that the Development Trust transfers Monmouth House to a ‘suitable body’ after the CLT were told Monmouth House would go on the market ‘unequivocally’ in September.

Councillors also recommended the council apply for Monmouth House to be a ‘registered asset of community value’ to help protect it.

Now, Development Trust Chair Wendy Davies has said the trust has ‘no hesitation’ in offering Monmouth House and its associated budget to the CLT/LRTC to manage until they can re-house the existing tenants. She added: “The only condition would be that they honour LRDT’s commitment for the building and/or proceeds from its sale are reserved for affordable housing for the people of Lyme Regis. We recognise that decisions need to be taken quickly to avoid unnecessary confusion for the tenants, but also to clarify responsibilities for the costs and liabilities of ongoing ownership.

“The opportunity therefore to transfer the building with an assured future for the tenants lifts a great weight from our shoulders, as I’m sure it does for the tenants