Land off Cambridge Way, Bures

Decision made by

Cllr John McKee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Transformation

Key decision

No

Source of delegation

Leaders Scheme of Delegation for 2019/20 - Paragraph 3.2.3

Decision

That the 2.9 acre parcel of land off Csmbridge Way, Bures continues to be used for its current use as agricultural land leased to the local farmer (Mr J Webber).

Reason for decision

The Council owns a 2.9 acre area of land off Cambridge Way, Bures which adjoins the southern boundary of the village.

The Council acquired the land under the terms of a Section 106 Planning Agreement in 1993 and has leased it to a local farmer for agricultural purposes since it was acquired. The current lease is for one year and is due to expire on 30th September 2021. The Council receive an income of £415 per annum.

The Council received a request on 2gtt, August 2019 from Bures Common Land Trust, a Local Community Group, to convert the land from agricultural use to a community woodland. The proposal sought the transfer of legal title of the parcel of land to the Trust or the grant of a peppercorn 99 year lease. The proposal is attached at Appendix 1.

The proposal from Bures Common Land Trust, initiated a review of the use of this parcel of land. The Local Ward Member, Councillor Mrs Wendy Scattergood, and the Local Parish Council have supported the review.

A consultation exercise was therefore undertaken to seek the views of local residents regarding potential uses for this land. The findings from the consultation exercise have informed the decision that has been taken.

It is recommended that the land continues to be used in its current format for the short to medium term. This is prime agricultural land, the site adjoins the village and it is a good sized site that offers many potential options going forward.
If the Council is minded to consider leasing the land to any constituted group with a view to delivering either woodland or green recreation space, support and advice could potentially be provided by the District Council if the group wished to apply for extemal or internal funding where appropriate. However. the development of a woodland would effectively prevent the land from being used for any other alternative uses in the future. 

Summary of alternative options

A consultation exercise was recently undertaken to seek the views of the local residents regarding future potential uses for the land. Please refer to the consultation report at Appendix 2 which summarises the consultation responses received. 

The Consultation Report indicates that 53 out of 104 responses received wanted to see the land used for agricultural purposes (33 for the continued agricultural use which is cropping and 20 as a community farm). A further 27 responses were in 
favour of the land becoming a community woodland with a mix of further responses suggesting allotments, recreational park, car park and BMX track. 

The 2.9 acre parcel of land is considered to be prime agricultural land and adjoins the village and it is a good sized site that offers many potential options going forward. Leasing the land to be developed as a woodland would effectively prevent the land from being used for any other alternative uses in the future.

Background documents

The proposal from Bures Common Land at Appendix 1.
The Consultation Report at Appendix 2.
Lease for the land off Cambridge Way, Bures

Declared conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Equality and diversity implications

There are no equality or diversity issues arising from this decision. 

Safeguarding

There are no safeguarding issues arising from this decision.

Legal

The Legal Sevice has been consulted and there are no legal issues arising from this decision. 

Customer impact

There is no customer impact arising from this decision. 

Environment and climate change

There are no environment and/or climate change issues arising from this decision.

Consultation and community engagement

There has been full and transparent community consultation on this matter. Councillor Mr John McKee, cabinet Member for Corporate Transfonnation, Councillor Mrs Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Place, and Councillor Mrs Wendy Scatterg od, the Local Ward Member, were also consulted

Date decision made

24 November 2020

Contact us

You can contact us if you would like a copy of the record and supporting papers for this decision. Email [email protected]