A decision on the future of the running of Lydiard Park and House could be delayed until early 2017.
A Swindon Borough Council spokesman told Swindon Link: “The Council has received a request to trigger the moratorium. The request is currently being assessed to ensure it meets all the necessary requirements.”
The council had been due to decide who would take on the running of the site at its cabinet meeting in September but because a request for a moratorium has been made under the 2011 Localism Act that decision might now be put off until early next year.
Swindon Borough Council agreed in February to invite formal bids to run the park with the aim of reducing the Council’s £458,000 annual subsidy and ongoing maintenance for the popular attraction.
Under the Localism Act any site classed as a community asset like Lydiard being put out to lease for a period of over 25 years needs to have a moratorium so that an interested community group can put in a proper bid to run the site. Groups had until 3 August to put in an expression of interest and the moratorium could last up to six months.
Organisations were originally asked to submit their formal bids by early May, but that deadline was put back until early July so that structural surveys on the house could be carried out.
There have been five organisations in total which have submitted bids. These are made up of two community-led proposals and one commercial bid to take over the running of the entire site and two bids interested in running just part of the site.
Swindon Borough Council have now confirmed the moratorium has been triggered The Love Lydiard Trust Limited, formally known as the “staff-led bid”, which also includes members of the Lydiard Fields Action Group. The group now have until the 22 December 2016 to make their case for the stewardship of Lydiard.