‘Save our green spaces’ was the collective call from residents at a protest meeting aimed at stopping the sale of a housing estate’s open areas .
More than 200 people turned up on Wednesday evening to voice their objections to Jelson Homes’ plans to auction 17 plots on the 350-homes Scottish Estate, in Stamford.
Protest organiser Gareth Bramley told residents: “Everyone needs to be aware that this is the tip of the iceberg. It’s going to happen in other estates in Stamford.”
Mr Bramley, of Ayre Close, urged people to support the protest through their Facebook campaign to stop it happening around the UK.
He said afterwards: “Everyone at the meeting supported the view green spaces should be saved for the community.”
Resident Belinda Thompson said: “What happens in Stamford will set a precedent across the county – therefore we need more support. We must stop any building on green sites.
“We want our children, and the next generation of children, to be able to play outside, enjoy green spaces and appreciate the environment.”
David Phillips, of Perth Road said: “Everyone at the meeting was clear that they wanted the open spaces to stay public for the benefit of the community.”
The plots of land being auctioned range from 779 sq meters to 3,207 sq meters with guide prices from £500 to £4,000 - Jelson Homes had sought permission to build houses on five of the plots but South Kesteven District Council rejected the applications.
Sale conditions include ‘the seller is entitles to recover 30 per cent of any increase in value of the site for 20 years’.
District councillor Terl Bryant also warned that other estates in the town and further afield would face a similar threat before long.
He told the meeting: “It is extraordinarily unlikely that anyone will get planning permission for these plots or be allowed to do anything apart from maintaining it as unfenced open space.”
He also warned the buyer would be liable for its maintenance as a public open space.
He told Stamford Mercury: “They (Jelson Homes) built a very profitable estate. They have a moral and legal obligation because they made a lot of money 30 years ago.”
The auction is on 30 April in Leicester. Residents plan to fight back by making buyers aware they will not get planning permission and will be liable for maintaining the plots.
Log on to www.facebook.com/stamfordopenspaces to support the campaign.