POPULAR Shelley Village Hall is on the brink of becoming an independent community owned facility.
The well used hall, home to dozens of local groups including Brownies, over 60s clubs and music concerts, is currently owned by Kirkburton Parish Council.
The Shelley Village Hall Committee, who have operated the facility for more than 30 years, pay about £5,000 a year in rent to the council and have to seek approval and funding for any development work.
But with the lease due to expire in July 2012 talks are now underway to sell the building to the hall’s committee.
The sale would give the village control of its own facility and prevent the possibility of the parish council selling it off for housing in future years.
The move would also allow the hall committee to apply for grants and funding they are not currently eligible for.
Clr Robert Barraclough, chairman of Kirkburton Parish Council, confirmed that negotiations were well underway and said he was hopeful the £10,000 deal would be done.
He added: “The council is ready to move forward. Agents from both sides are agreeing the terms of the transfer.”
Clr Andrew Cooper said the plans were great news for the area.
He said: “Our aim is to give the management of the hall and the ownership of the building to the committee.
“That way they would have no rent to pay to the parish council.
“We are quite keen to ensure that it has no other use than as a village hall. It’s a sustainable solution and gives them control over their own destiny.”
And Clr Cooper said a motion to sell the hall for £1 had been rightly turned down by councillors.
He added: “People would have said we had a council asset that we just gave away. We’re trying to balance things and make sure we’re doing right for everyone in the parish.”
Ann Priestman, president of the Shelley Community Association, said the proposal was put forward by the council, but admitted they were in favour of the idea.
Mrs Priestman also confirmed the Post Office service currently operating at the hall would not be threatened by the transfer and could in fact be extended.
She said: “It’s an option we’re going to consider very carefully. We would have greater autonomy but there would be conditions on the sale so we’ve got to get the conditions right so that the village hall is an asset to the community rather than a liability.
“The hall is growing as a hive of activity all the time so we’re keen to extend all services and (the Post Office) would be something also that we would like to extend.”
Shelley stalwart and parish councillor Malcolm McDonald, said: “A lot of people from far and wide, well outside the boundaries of the parish, come to use the hall.
“The village hall committee have been damn good custodians, they have improved it, they’ve spent a lot of money on it.”