A petition to save a register office in Weybridge from being demolished for flats has reached nearly 10,000 signatures.

It is feared that Surrey County Council plans to sell Weybridge Register Office, known as Rylston, to a developer after it was suggested at a council meeting in November the office could move be moved.

Tayna Hatch, who started the petition, said the building is “one of the only” of its type left in the area and that it would be an “absolute disgrace” were it to be sold and demolished.

Of the venue, which was built in Oatlands Drive as private house in 1911, she wrote: “It became a register office in 1993 providing an invaluable service to the local and surrounding community.

“Not only the provision of a stunning and affordable venue in which to have a marriage, civil partnership or citizenship ceremony, but for the other people who visit at some of the best and some of the worse times of life - the registrations of births and deaths.”

Daniella Christian, who was married at Rylston and registered the birth of both her children there, said: “I have lots of memories there and it would be a real shame to lose a facility such as that for the area only to be turned into yet another commuter development.”

Weybridge Councillor Tim Oliver, cabinet member for property and business services, wrote a blog post in response to the “many emails and phone calls” he has received on Rylston’s future.

He began by assuring residents that “absolutely no decision” has been taken to sell or redevelop the register, but added the council is “reviewing all of their property assets to ensure that the return on its buildings is optimised”.

Cllr Oliver said: “The financial position of Surrey has been well publicised and it is essential that it uses all of its assets to their maximum capability to continue to fund the exponential growth in adult social care and those with special education needs and disabilities.

“In some instances that may mean knocking down buildings that are no longer required for use by the services Surrey delivers and perhaps replacing the building with residential units both affordable and social as well as privately owned.

“The county is obliged to obtain best value at all times in whatever it does but it also has a social obligation to help those residents that need assistance including the provision of housing.”

The councillor said no decision would be taken “without public support”.

He added: “Ultimately the decision on the future of all of Surrey’s buildings rests with the cabinet, but you have my assurance that as the cabinet member responsible for making a recommendation to the cabinet on any property disposal, that I am fully appreciative of the strength of local opinion and that I have committed to ensure that any decision on its future will have local public support.”

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