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Breckland Reneges on Land Sale
by Webmaster - 18:56 on 23 June 2010
The area of land adjacent to the Caston Telephone exchange, together with the green area in front of Coronation Terrace, was agreed to be given by Breckland Council to the Caston Parish Council as a local amenity.
Caston Parish Council was to take responsibility for this area and were to pay for the legal costs involved in the land transfer. Caston Parish Council applied to Awards for All and were given a grant to cover these legal costs which was subsequently granted. The deal was agreed in 2009 and the matter was being progressed by the council's legal team and Caston Parish Council's solicitor. Legal costs have been incurred by both parties.
Earlier this year Breckland Council indicated that they were to change their mind on this grant of land adjacent to the exchange and would seek planning permission for a pair of semi-detached houses to be built on the area but would still continue to grant the remainder of the land to Caston Parish.
Caston Parish Council have strongly protested this change of policy by Breckland Council for several reasons. Clearly the building of houses on this area of land would mean a loss of the established trees on the site and would be detrimental to the appearance of the area, not to mention the loss of a playing area currently used by local children.
The Chief Executive of Breckland Council has recently written to Caston Parish Council advising them that Breckland will continue to pursue building permission for the site, despite the parish's protest, as they wish to sell it for the building of houses in order to raise revenue for Breckland Council. They have now said that only in the event that planning consent cannot be secured would they reconsider the decision to transfer the land to the parish
There are many who feel that this decision is to the detriment of our village and wish to see this building plan rejected.
If anyone wants further information they can see the record of proceedings in the Caston Parish Council Minutes available on the web ( http://www.castonparishcouncil.co.uk/minutesagendas.asp ) or can contact the Parish Clerk for more information that is in the public domain. Click this link diary of events to read the whole issue as it happened.
If you have a view on this there are two actions you can take. Please enter your thoughts right here on this page so others can see them and then write to Breckland's Planning Officer to make your views known. If you are in favour then the scheme will almost certainly go through. If you are against the scheme and do nothing then the scheme will almost certainly go through. If you are against the scheme you need to make your views known.
To desecrate it for a few pieces of silver is not worthy of our local council.
It is even more shameless if it feels that it can retract on its initial agreement and then push building permission through its own development control committee! Had the land belonged to anyone else I doubt that this permission would be granted.
This area can be seen as an open green space on entering the village and has been used for some time now by local children to play on. The area also includes three established trees which would be lost if the proposed building goes ahead.
We don’t want houses crammed onto this small green area - leaving aesthetics aside, practical issues such as parking in Coronation Terrace and vehicle access to the telephone exchange will become a nightmare! Get a grip Breckland - there are many other ways that you can make money other than retracting on legal agreements and spoiling small open spaces in local villages!
Might be worth looking into
Please anybody else who would like to voice their opinion send letter to the Parish clerk. The more objections we have the stronger our collective voice. Thank you.
This is completely ridiculous in more ways than I can list.
I totally agree with the previous comments - Breckland Council’s plans have been known for over a year and this issue now needs to be treated as a matter of urgency by the Parish Council as there are now less than three weeks to take action.
As a strong proactive stand must be taken by all residents and by our Parish Council, I would like to suggest the following as a way forward: (1) immediate membership applied for and advice and assistance sought from other rural agencies, such as the Open Spaces Society and (2) the immediate completion and submission of Form 44 to apply to have these areas registered as village greens. It must be noted that there is NO charge for submission of Form 44.
Open Spaces Society advises:
If you can prove that local people have used the land without secrecy, force or permission for at least 20 years for lawful sports and pastimes, you can apply to register the land as new green. This will protect it from development forever and preserve it for use by local people.
On this basis alone, this area of green space more than adequately qualifies to be registered and officially classified as a ‘village green’ as it has been used as a recreation and play area since the mid-fifties.
It is unbelievable that Breckland Council firstly reneged on their initial decision to give the land to the Caston Parish in 2010 and now are attempting to push through planning permission on this land which will impact hugely on all residents and deny the young people of Caston of their long-held play area.
A petition has been started and will be circulated throughout the village for signatures; it is anticipated that this will demonstrate the widespread objection to Breckland Council’s plans to steamroll planning permission through.
Zoe had a legal obligation to Breckland Council to pursue other options for use of the land as Caston Parish Council had not responded within the framework. This is not just a problem for Coronation Terrace as I have been informed that this is a test site and depending on the outcome will depend on how many other sites are to be affected.
Caston Parish Council were reimbursed 50% of their legal costs. Although it is after the fact, we need to ask why we were not consulted on this.
I have also spoken to the Case Officer, Chris Raine today. He was visiting Coronation Terrace to put the planning application up. His advice was for all to comment our concerns regarding the proposal as soon as possible. This can be done via http://www.castonparishcouncil.co.uk/localplanningapps.asp
I have also emailed a photo of the BT Openreach vans to him. I'm still awaiting a response from BT Openreach.
I refer to the above application which was due to be heard at Planning Committee on Monday 3rd October, 2011. The application has been withdrawn by the applicant and will not be considered at the meeting on Monday.
I have informed those residents who had registered to speak and Mr. Rogers but am aware there may be a number of others who had perhaps intended to come along to the meeting and I will not be able to contact them in time to avoid an unnecessary journey to our offices. I would be grateful if you would inform anyone you may know who had an interest in the application.
Work still remains to be done though by getting this land registered as an "Open Space" to ensure it does not get built on in the future.
On Thursday there were 3 vehicles parked on it, not helping to keep it for the children
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