Just weeks after residents celebrated their community greens being saved, developers have dealt a blow to households in another area - putting up for sale several more sets of open spaces.
As reported in the Mercury last month, 17 plots of recreational land on the 350-homes Scottish Estate, in Stamford, were auctioned by the builders Jelson Homes.
Days before they went under the hammer Stamford town councillor John Dawson bought most of them. He plans to hand them to a trust to be “kept in perpetuity for the people of Stamford”.
The rest of the lands are believed to have been bought by private households.
Close to 600 people signed a campaign petition to ‘Stop Jelson Homes Profiting from Stamford’s Green Spaces’.
Now the developer is auctioning off five more lots of green spaces in Stamford:
five plots in Chesterton Road; four sites in Chatsworth Road and Walcot Way; four plots between Casterton Road and Chatsworth Road; four sites in Chatsworth Road and Rockingham Road; and nine plots off Chatsworth Road - each at £500 plus VAT, auctioneers fee and sellers legal fee and subject to the seller being entitled to ‘recover 30 per cent of any increase in value for 20 years’.
Spokesman for Stamford Open Spaces Dan Hiblin said: “We will help and support any new residents committees.
“As this is potentially an ongoing concern we need a more robust solution - to get Jelson to engage with the district council and find a long term solution to preserve the land for the community.”
South Kesteven district councillor Coun Terl Bryant said if councils bought the open spaces that builders wanted to off load, to avoid the cost of maintaining them, it would set a “terribly dangerous precedent” as rate payers would end up paying for the upkeep.
Coun Bryant warned that the auctioned plots were only a third of the public open spaces in Stamford that were owned by Jelson.
He also warned anyone buying the plots, that they will “not be allowed to fence it off or turn it into their garden” and will be “ responsible for maintaining them”.
The auction is on Wednesday, 18 June at 5pm at Shonki Brothers in Leicester.
To sign the petition go to http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-jelson-homes-selling-stamfords-green-spaces.