Agenda item

Neatherd Moor, Dereham – transfer of management responsibilities (Agenda item 10)

Report of Executive Member for Property and Projects, Councillor Paul Hewett.


Councillor Paul Hewett, the Executive Member for Property & Projects presented the report.


Members were informed that this was an exceptional and unique situation that the Council found itself in, in a unique location requiring a unique solution. The Team had been working with the Town Council since being approached in 2019 and local Members since 2020.  A great deal of information had been gathered and discussed but now it was time to move this matter forward as the financial sum involved had been agreed.


The reason for the recommendation was explained.  Dereham Town Council were the freeholders of Neatherd Moor Common, but Breckland Council and its predecessors had been managing the land dating back to a 1910 agreement.  In other words, Breckland Council had been managing that land but had no ownership of it. The agreement itself was not considered to be fit for purpose for the 21st century and having two parties in charge of the land had caused a number of issues over the decades.


The recommendation was proposed and seconded.


Councillor Morton fully supported the principle as it would eliminate a great deal of confusion for residents living around Neatherd Moor but his only concern going forward was that a figure had been agreed was a good deal for Breckland but was not entirely convinced that it was such a good deal for Dereham Town Council. He asked if there was anyway that this Council could at least roll this out over a trial period so that any increase in costs could be considered.


The Executive Member for Property & Projects stated that this was the sum that had been agreed and had been approved at the Town Council meeting and therefore this was the sum that was being proposed and recommended.  


Councillor Webb, the Executive Member for Housing, Health & Communities fully supported the transfer of land as it had caused a significant amount of confusion to residents over the years as they were unsure who to go to, to report any issues. This transfer would make it a lot easier for people in future, the sum of money in question had been agreed and the recommendation should be approved.


Councillor Atterwill pointed out that the biggest concern over the years was the access road that led to the houses around the Moor and asked if this agreement included the said roadway.


The Executive Member for Property & Projects explained that the road was quite unique as it belonged to three councils including Norfolk County Council, Breckland Council and the Town Council and the sum involved would include all elements of the land within the Neatherd Moor and in part this had resulted in some of the challenges in the past.  The sum involved covered everything that this Council was looking to transfer and as an aside there was no reference in the 1910 agreement in terms of upkeep of the road.


Following a unanimous vote in favour of the recommendation, it was


RESOLVED that £125k be released from the Inclusive Growth Reserve and Breckland Council delegates its current management responsibilities for Neatherd Moor to Dereham Town Council.

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