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About

Public open space, parkland, a recreation ground: such assets are rare in a rural community. Ide is a tightly packed village, in a managed agricultural landscape. Vehicles crowd its streets. The village green, small and bounded on two sides by road, is the only open space for people to gather.

So when the opportunity came to acquire a flat, six acre field on the edge of the village, for the village, the Parish Council determined to do just that: to provide open space for relaxation, recreation and sport, publically owned, for public use, for the first time in Ide’s history. In 2017 the owners, the Church Commissioners, accepted our offer to buy Weir Meadow. In 2018 the proposal to create a recreation ground on it passed into planning law in the Ide Neighbourhood Plan. In 2020 we secured planning  permission for change of use from agriculture to a recreation ground. And in 2021 we signed an option agreement with the Commissioners, allowing us three years to raise the funds, certain that the purchase is ours to make at any point during that period.

So when the opportunity came to acquire a flat, six acre field on the edge of the village, for the village, the Parish Council determined to do just that: to provide open space for relaxation, recreation and sport, publically owned, for public use, for the first time in Ide’s history. In 2017 the owners, the Church Commissioners, accepted our offer to buy Weir Meadow. In 2018 the proposal to create a recreation ground on it passed into planning law in the Ide Neighbourhood Plan. In 2020 we secured planning  permission for change of use from agriculture to a recreation ground. And in 2021 we signed an option agreement with the Commissioners, allowing us three years to raise the funds, certain that the purchase is ours to make at any point during that period.

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Parish Councils are in a great position to take on projects like this. Government and county councils encourage parishes to own and manage land. Parishes are permanent, statutory, elected bodies, with formal systems of scrutiny. They can raise funds and borrow at preferential rates, for up to fifty years, from the Public Works Loan Board; reclaim VAT; and  set their own annual precept demand from their district council.

 

We are also fortunate, for the Church Commissioners have honoured our long term vision for the community. They backed us over the last four years by sticking with negotiations for an option agreement that both of us could accept.

Phase I of the project is complete. Now in Phase II we have to raise £178,000 to buy the land. The option agreement extends for three years until […..], but the shelf life of planning permission chiefly constrains our time. By 16 October 2023 we must have bought the land, satisfied the pre-commencement planning conditions, and made a material start on development works.

 

This prospectus sets out the history of the project in more detail; the plan for its five operational phases;  money raised so far; and the estimated spending budget for which we seek your help with funds.