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Land decision angers villagers

PUBLISHED: 10:33 22 July 2010 | UPDATED: 14:54 02 August 2010

PEOPLE in a Wayland village have been angered by Breckland Council deciding against transferring an area of open space into the ownership of their community.

PEOPLE in a Wayland village have been angered by Breckland Council deciding against transferring an area of open space into the ownership of their community.

Plans had been underway for Caston Parish Council to take control of two sections of land in front of Coronation Terrace when the district authority changed its mind about one of them.

Under Breckland's Active Land Management programme, the authority is reviewing the use of a number of Breckland-owned pieces of land, and at a cabinet meeting in April Breckland councillors decided to instead look into seeking planning permission to build homes on the Caston site near the telephone exchange so that it could then be sold on the open market.

The cabinet members decided to still give Caston the other nearby narrow strip of land fronting Coronation Terrace.

Caston Parish Council has strongly protested because it would like to keep both pieces of land as open space, and they have also already secured an Awards for All grant to cover the costs of acquiring the land.

David Blincow, one of the parish councillors, said: “The land has been used by the local children of Caston over the generations as a recreation area. It is also an open green space on the approach to the village. It has a number of well-developed trees which add to the really green aspect of Caston and all these factors would be sad to lose indeed. We would be very reluctant to see housing on the site.”

The parish council has now sent letters to all residents detailing what is happening and asking for their views on the situation.

Mark Stokes, Breckland Council's interim chief executive, said: “The offer of the second piece of land at Coronation Terrace was withdrawn some months ago as part of the council's Active Land Management programme.

“It is the responsibility of the council to achieve the best possible value from areas of land it owns for the benefit of all its residents.”

At the Breckland cabinet meeting in April it was also decided if planning permission was not granted for the land next to the telephone exchange the use of the land may be reconsidered.

For more information about Caston Parish Council's campaign visit www.castonparishcouncil.co.uk

To register your views with the parish council e-mail caston.clerk@virgin.net

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