Friday, July 08, 2011

Sangharakshita Land Project: the search goes on...

Mokshapriya writes:

You’d be forgiven for assuming little had been done in the last three months given my sluggish blog but don’t be deceived. One of the challenges of keeping you up to date via this means of communication is the fact that whatever I write about recent property visits might also be read by the estate agents involved. Paranoia you cry! Well we know that one agent at least did check the blog out so, given the delicate nature of property purchase negotiations, I must continue to be cautious. Sometimes a property is almost good enough but doesn’t quite fit the bill so we inform the agent that we are not pursuing it and move on but nonetheless keep it in the background just in case our brief changes or we run out of options.

Over the past three months we’ve visited a number of possible sites including country estates, farms, priories, hotels and a retreat centre. Sometimes there’s just not enough space or potential footprint,  sometimes the land is not private enough or well ‘ringfenced’, sometimes the road noise is too intrusive or the main building is too close to neighbouring properties, sometimes the public transport links are non-existent or the journey times too great from some parts of the UK. These are all problems we’ve encountered and usually it takes a site visit to know.

The word ‘compromise’ can be increasingly heard in our discussions. The phrase ‘something has to give’ is not far behind. Occasionally Karunika, Vajrasadhu, Sanghadeva, Dhammarati and I have met at Madhyamaloka in Birmingham to discuss the current options and to review procedure and progress. Invaluable though those meetings are there is an inevitable sense of frustration and concern particularly as we bear the eldest resident of Madhyamaloka (Bhante) in mind. We want to ensure that Bhante can enjoy a new base and witness the establishment of the new Dharma Training Centre and Library while his health permits such a move.

At the end of May Vajrasadhu stepped down from heading the search and I’ve taken it on. The brief we’ve presented to estate and land agents is 100-300 acres, a build footprint of at least 20,000 sq ft (with further potential), quiet rural location, costing up to £2.5 million, as UK central a location as possible. We are registered with all the major agents and I spend endless hours each week scouring the web but we welcome help! If you can find any leads - properties not yet advertised or perhaps listed with a small independent agent then do get in touch.


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