PC Statement Green Space Designation

DESIGNATION OF THE JUBILEE FIELD AS A LOCAL GREEN SPACE AS PART OF SOUTH NORTHAMPTONSHIRE LOCAL PLAN PART 2

On 4th January 2017, the Parish Council unanimously decided that ‘It does not support the designation of the Jubilee Field as a Local Green Space (as currently defined).

The Jubilee Field was purchased by the Parish Council in 2012 from the Slatcher family. The reason for this was re-stated in the Parish Council minutes of Wednesday 7th December 2016 ‘Boddington Parish Council agreed to purchase the land to allow the village to control the destiny of the field.’ The cost including legal fees was over £100,000. It was funded by a Loan of £75,000 and £25,877 from the Parish reserves, which were exhausted by this transaction. The ongoing repayments are just over £6,000 pa with capital and interest in order of £58,000 still outstanding.

The Precept, is a tax on the residents of the Parish which you pay as part of your council tax and collectively forms the income of the Parish Council. The Parish Council have had to increase the Precept by over 25% in each of the last 2 years and now stands at £32,000 to achieve a ‘standstill’ position. We are trying to build reserves in order to pay for projects identified in the Parish Plan Questionnaire. Clearly an ongoing annual debt of £6000 per annum for the Jubilee Field loan, severely limits the Parish Council’s finances.

Supporters of the Jubilee Field want to preserve the field in its current state. They have put an Asset of Community value order on the field. They have also completed forms to have the field designated a Local Green Space as part of South Northamptonshire Council Local Plan Part 2. South Northamptonshire Council have requested that all submissions are completed and sent in by 10th November 2017.

The Council has a duty to make best use of their assets in the interests of the local residents/taxpayers.

The Parish Council wants to keep its options open.

The Parish Council CANNOT recommend that you support the Jubilee Field being designated as a Local Green Space. It would prevent any proposed development both now and anytime in the future. It would reduce the financial value considerably and remove any options in the future. Why limit your options, when it is clearly totally unnecessary.

There are already protective elements in place to protect the Jubilee Field:

  1. It is in Public Ownership.
  2. It is listed as an Asset of Community Value.
  3. It lies within a Special Landscape area which means there are development restrictions.
  4. Other Planning considerations are also in place to safeguard against unwarranted development.

You may have seen adverts on social media, received notices, had people on your doorstep encouraging you to complete these forms. It is your choice as what to do, However, it is important that you understand what you are committing the Parish to, for now and for future generations.

So, please, whatever your views on the Jubilee Field, we believe supporting the designation as Local Green Space is not in the best interests of the parish.

If you have already completed a form supporting a Local Green Space designation, it is not too late to change your mind.

If you wish to make your views known contact South Northamptonshire Council, you can do so using this email address localplanconsult@southnorthants.gov.uk or write to The Planning Policy Team, SNC, The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, NN12 6AD

You can download this statement here