Hopes Solihull village green to be secured for community use in council plan - The Solihull Observer

Hopes Solihull village green to be secured for community use in council plan

Solihull Editorial 5th Jul, 2019 Updated: 5th Jul, 2019   0

PLANS to secure Dickens Heath village green for community use have been launched by Solihull Council.

The proposal for the council to acquire the freehold from the Dickens Heath Development Company – which went into liquidation in 2011 – will be discussed at a meeting next Wednesday (July 10).

Once purchased, the local authority would lease the site to the Dickens Heath Parish Council to prevent it falling into the hands of a developer.

The 125-year, low-rent lease would enable the parish council to manage and maintain the land in line with their vision for the community.

The council retains a covenant preventing the use of the village green or the nearby nature reserve for any purpose other than as an open space for public use.

But a report to the council’s resource department suggests there are risks an unknown third party acquiring the land would seek to modify the covenant to enable a different use.

Head of strategic land and property, Peter Carrol,l in the report says: ” It is considered that the restrictive covenant continues to serve an important function in ensuring that the village green is available as a valued community facility for the long term.”

The report adds that the council has no budget with which to maintain the village green to a good standard, and therefore it would be another budgetary pressure if it were not leased to the parish council.

The parish council on its website said: “Your parish council is now close to finalising arrangements to take over the village green for permanent ‘as of right’ use by residents.

“Everything has been agreed by all concerned parties.

“However we still have to observer certain legal requirements before final completion.”

The two-and-a-half acre site was intended as a key part of the Dickens Heath village centre masterplan at the turn of the millennium.

The disposal of the land will be advertised so that any objections can be considered in a ‘timely manner’.

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