Green Lane Field Meeting

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Residents who attended Thursday night's Open Meeting were given the update by Parish Councillors on the purchase of and next steps for field at the top of Green Lane.
The Parish Council has provided this summary of the presentation for those who were unable to attend the meeting.

The Bid and the Loan

Residents were told that before submitting its bid the 11.5 acre field, Audlem Parish Council had sought advice from two professionals, who had advised that the likely amount to be successful would be considerably above £200,000. The Parish Council's bid turned out to be one of twelve that were submitted.

The feedback from residents at the two meetings held in April and the questionnaires submitted was to ensure that the field was not sold to a developer which would lose this important green space for ever. Bearing this in mind, the Parish Council's submitted a bid of £227,500, which proved to be the bid that was accepted by the vendor. With the Parish Council also having to pay land charges and the vendor's costs as well as its own minimal legal fees, the total cost was £237,939.32.

In order to pay for the field, a loan from the Public Works Loan Board of £250,000 to be repaid over a period of 40 years had been secured at an interest rate of 2.82%. This means that two repayments of £5231.83 will be made each year. Once again, this was in line with the feedback from the two meetings and the questionnaires as to the level of borrowing.

The loan will be repaid by increasing the Parish Council's element of Council Tax by approximately 25%, which was deemed to be acceptable from the previous feedback. For a Band D property this equates to between £10 and £12 per year, depending on how quickly the new houses currently being built are occupied.

The Next 12 Months

The Parish Council has been given a number of potential uses for the field, but is not going to rush into doing things in a haphazard way. The plans for the next twelve months are to:

  • create a temporary access to the field from Shropshire Street. Unfortunately this will not be wheelchair friendly due to the height of the field above the pavement;
  • follow up on the promises of donations from residents, of which there were about 100;
  • draw up plans to create permanent pedestrian access from Shropshire Street and green car park by improving the current access on Green Lane;
  • hold another Open Meeting in February next year to report on progress.

Working Group -Volunteers Required

The Parish Council has set up a Working Group for the field which currently consists of five Councillors. The intention is that there will be a similar number of residents on the Group.

Residents who wish to be considered for the Group are asked to email a brief resumé of their experience and skills to the Parish Clerk by Saturday 15th September. This is the same procedure that was used very successfully to choose the members of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.