So when the opportunity came to acquire Weir Meadow, a flat, six acre field at the western edge of the village on Halscombe Lane, the Parish Council determined to do just that: to secure open space for sport, exercise and recreation, publicly owned, for public use, for the first time in Ide’s history.
The Church Commissioners own the Meadow; and retaining agricultural access for their tenant farmer across it, to the two Northern Fields which border College Lane, was to be a condition of sale.
The Parish Council could not accept this, and looked at a number of solutions. In the end, the answer was clear: to buy the Northern Fields as well.
This will allow us to protect the land from development, ensure it is used in an ecologically positive way, and solve the problem of access across the Meadow.
Renting them to a tenant, with access down College Lane, will also generate income for the Council to run Weir Meadow Playing Field.
In October 2020 we secured planning permission for change of use of Weir Meadow from agriculture to a recreation ground
In March 2021 we signed an option agreement with the Commissioners to buy the Meadow and Northern Fields, allowing us three years to raise the funds, certain that the purchase is ours to make at any point during that period.
Now we have to raise £170,000 (and reclaimable VAT of £8,000) to buy the land. The community can then start using the Meadow for sport and open green public space.
Further sums will be needed to fund the planned additional uses over time.