Oundle Town Council apply for ‘Village Green Status’ on local field
Oundle Town Council, with assistance from the Oundle Recreation And Green Spaces Group are to submit an application to Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) on Tuesday 8th December in an attempt to preserve the Fletton field on Glapthorn Rd in Oundle as an official village green.
During recent controversy over NCC's plans to sell off school fields in the area, the field on Glapthorn Rd was also highlighted as a potential asset to be sold. Despite being the land owners, NCC are also the Registering Authority for all village green applications and have set the deadline of Tuesday 8th Dec 2015 after which no application can be made.
It is widely acknowledged that there is a lack of publicly owned and accessible green space in Oundle which has driven the town council's decision to submit this application to the Registering Authority in a bid to formally realise this space as a village green.
The residents of Oundle have used this space as such for many, many years. Aside from the generations of children who enjoyed this space as part of their Oundle Primary School life it has also been used as a playground for Oundle Pre School and as a green space by the residents for activities such as dog walking, kite flying, fruit picking, bicycle riding and impromptu games of football and rounders. Losing this field will further decrease Oundle residents' accessibility to green space for recreation and sporting purposes.
"For more than a century, Oundle residents have been able to enjoy this field. We feel it is our duty as Oundle Town Council to protect its long term future and to ensure that all residents, present and future, are able to continue to enjoy this green space for generations to come"Councillor Paul King, Mayor of Oundle
The land in its current state, would be worth just £100k. The field not does appear in the current RNOT plan or the draft Neighbourhood Plan and therefore has not been identified as a suitable area for development.
The History of the Field
The field was owned by John Smith who ran Smiths', the Brewery and spirit business in Oundle. Upon his death in 1899 the Trustees and Executors of John Smith's will agreed to sell the land to the Guardians of the Poor of the Oundle Union. As part of the sale, a covenant was placed on the land which stated that the use of the land was to remain for the people of Oundle and that no buildings other than walls or fences should be built.
The Local Government Act of 1929 transferred the powers of Poor Laws to Local Authorities and as a result Fletton field's ownership was transferred to Northamptonshire County Council. However the field has remained in community use until the present day.
During this time the field also became known as the allotments and during the Second World War, produce for the community was grown on the land. The local school used the field for biology lessons but it wasn't until the 1970's that the field was designated as a playing field for Oundle C of E Primary School.
Although Fletton Field is no longer required long term as a resource for the local primary school, the town of Oundle is still woefully short of accessible green recreational space. In fact comparing Oundle to other similar sized towns within Northamptonshire such as Burton Latimer and Raunds, Oundle has up to 9 times less playing field space.
Significant evidence over decades has been collated and will be submitted on the 8th Dec along with a detailed statement supporting the Village Green application.
If you would like any further details on this application or would like to get involved please contact :
Cllr Julie Grove
Tel: 01832 270058
Posted: Tue, 08 Dec 2015 09:30 by Debra Harper