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Source : 13/07/1974 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A new application for a 60,000 loan for the Jesus Fellowship Housing Association has been turned down by the south Northants District Council.

The fellowship wants the loan to help pay for and partly renovate Bugbrooke Hall, which it recently bought at auction for 67,000

At the auction, the fellowship outbid South Northants District Council who wanted the Hall to provide sheltered homes for old people.

At a meeting of the Council's Policy and Resources Committee yesterday, Administrative Officer Mr. R. A.Watts said the Fellowship Association was not yet registered as a housing association.

'The Department of the Environment has never heard of the Jesus Fellowship Association,' he added.

As a registered housing association, the Fellowship could get a loan at low interest rates from a local authority.

But councillor J.M. Heygate, vice chairman of the Council, said he thought local authority money should loaned only to people who cannot get mortgages for houses, and had tried other means.

The Chairman, Councillor J. E. Grant-Ives, said there were other methods the Fellowship could use to raise the money.

The proposal to turn down the application came from councillor Leonard Prosser, and was passed.

Today, the Rev. Noel Stanton, Bugbrooke's Baptist Minister confirmed that the Jesus Fellowship has other sources of money, and this would not affect their plans.

'We are obviously disappointed, but we weren't surprised,' he said.

He criticised South Northants District Council for its attitude towards housing associations. 'It makes us a little sad that the Council seems to have a very unhelpful attitude towards housing associations. The 1957 Housing Act says that housing associations should go to local authorities for loans, and it is very rare for these to be refused.'

He agreed that the Jesus Fellowship was not yet registered as an association but added: 'This is purely a formality, red tape in London, there are no problems about this.'

The Fellowship hopes to move into the Hall at the end of this month, and to begin refurbishing the building in August.

It will start to house people there straight away. 'They will be the sort of people who can live sacrificially and they will be helping with some of the work,' said Mr Stanton. The Hall will eventually take about 50 people.