Land at Castell Road, Dereham
Meeting: 20/11/2012 - Cabinet (Item 126)
Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development.
The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report which sought Members advice as to whether to formally object to an application made by Dereham Town Council for registration of Breckland Council-owned Slough Plantation and land at Castell Road as a new Town Green.
The land at Castell Road had previously been considered under the Active Land Management Programme where there had been strong opposition to this land being developed; however, the Active Land Management Programme had been put in place to ensure that the Council was gaining best possible use from the public land at its disposal in terms of value and use. This land had development value but would only be realised if planning permission could be gained.
The land known as the Slough Plantation was a large wooded area adjacent to Castell Road which was a facility that was used by the residents as an amenity area.
The Executive Member urged the Cabinet to object to the application for both areas of land on the grounds that Breckland Council owned the land. However, if the objection was unsuccessful, and the land in question qualified for registration as a Town Green, he recommended that Norfolk County Council, as the Commons Registration Authority, be asked to transfer all the land to Dereham Town Council at nil value for Town Green status. Dereham Town Council would then be responsible for maintenance and the upkeep of approximately 3.3 acres of land indefinitely as no alternative use could be obtained.
Mr Abrahams was allowed to speak on behalf of the residents from the area. He read out a number of letters who all used the land for dog walking, playing and school activities. He mentioned that an 85 year old resident had understood that the Slough copse had been left to the residents of Dereham by the developers.
Linda Monument was in attendance as a District Councillor a Town Councillor but mainly as the Ward Representative. She explained that Dereham Town Council had been asked to submit the application for Town Green status by her constituents. She pointed out that there were approximately 600 voters on this particular estate of which 10% of those had lived there for over 25 years. The land, as far as she was aware, had been given to the former Dereham Urban District Council by the developer as open space (the estate had been built a few years before Breckland Council had been formed). The land at Castell Road provided access to the Slough Plantation and would be difficult to manage if the access was lost; therefore to join the two areas would not be practical and was obviously needed by the residents. There were many single storey dwellings on the estate that were owned by elderly residents and if Town Green status was not allowed Breckland Council would be putting at risk a facility that they had had since the dwellings had been built. On the other hand, if such status was allowed, and Norfolk ... view the full minutes text for item 126