In July 2015 Norfolk County Council notified the Parish Council their intention to sell four lots of surplus land surrounding our village. This raised several concerns, the first being the sale of Lot 1 which the Parish Council with the District Council (South Norfolk) had developed into what is known as the Pocket Park. Secondly, who would buy this land which has been used by the community for over 20 years.
The Parish Council and those residents who attended the meetings to discuss this, felt very strongly that this land should remain a “Community Area”. There are several walks frequently used over these Lots, with the opening of the new “Permissive Path” by kind permission of Mr A West & Mr D West and the increased number of visitors to the Pocket Park, the value of these Lots to the enjoyment of our village was significant.
Lot 1 – Norfolk County Council agreed to sell Lot 1 to the Parish Council for £1.00 plus legal fees for both parties. This has now been completed.
Lot 2 – This was due for auction in March, a consortium of local residents had collectively agreed to raise the money to purchase this land but the night before the auction Norfolk County Council decided not to sell. Norfolk County Council has approached the Parish Council and asked it to submit a proposal for the use of this area and a bid for purchase, the Council has submitted a bid of £20,000 plus legal fees for both sides (Norfolk County Council indicated it would not accept anything less) and is waiting for a response.
Lot 3 – The Parish Council submitted a bid to Norfolk County Council of £10,000 plus legal fees for both sides, this has been accepted and the sale is progress via the Lawyers.
Lot 4 – The Parish Council submitted a bid of £10,000 plus legal fees for both sides, with the proposal and bid for Lot 2. The Council is still waiting for a response.
Funding – it is estimated that the total cost of the purchase of all four lots will be in the region of £50,000, the Parish Council is very fortunate to have some reserves and along with the very generous donations received from local residents is able to fund half the project, therefore, additional funding will be required. It was agreed at the Parish Council meeting in May to apply for a loan of £25,000 over 15 years, whilst this will increase the amount of precept required by the Parish Council, Councillors will keep this increase to a minimum.