Keep land for community use, say residents

PUBLISHED: 12:24 14 June 2013

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COUNCILLORS are demanding assurances that a piece of publicly-owned land set to be sold off to private developers be kept for community use.

North Herts District Council is set to put the land, adjacent to Windmill Close in Barkway, up for sale as it looks to dispose of some of its assets.

The district council’s cabinet had agreed the sale subject to the approval of the Royston and district area committee.

However, the area committee said it would not agree to the sale unless there was an obligation included that developers must retain some of the land as a green space for public use.

A group of villagers opposed to the sale have been trying to get the land registered as a village green, and gave a presentation to the area committee when it met last Wednesday.

Nick Dear, one of the group’s members, said: “We were quite pleased with the way the councillors voiced their concerns, and have gone back to the district council to get some things cleared up.

“It’s our view that the last report was a bit misleading. It talks about the provision of a pocket park, but doesn’t make clear what size this would be, it could be anything from a field to a flower bed.”

The matter is set to be discussed by the district council’s Cabinet when it meets on Tuesday, June 18.

Cllr Fiona Hill, chairman of the Royston area committee, said: “We have asked the cabinet to revisit the Windmill Close item as it’s a bit hazy.

“There is mention of some of the land being kept back for the community, but we want this to be a concrete condition of any sale.”

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