Hardingstone park’s future set to be guaranteed ahead of proposed transfer to parish council

The future of a Hardingstone park is set to be protected as a public open space ahead of a proposed transfer to the parish council.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 5:03 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 5:05 pm
Cherry Orchard Park is set to be transferred to Hardingstone Parish Council

Next Wednesday (January 22) is set to see Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet finally agree to the community asset transfer of Cherry Orchard park to Hardingstone Parish Council.

The decision to transfer the park had been agreed by the cabinet back in February 2014, almost six years ago, with debate since then focusing on whether the transfer should be on a freehold or leasehold basis.

Now the borough has confirmed it will transfer the freehold to the council for the sum of £100. Restrictions will be placed on the title and a covenant will be placed to ensure the land remains used as public open space for community use.

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The park's future will be guaranteed thanks to a covenant being put in place

The cabinet papers state: “Hardingstone Parish Council is an established council which already has management experience of local facilities. It is a credible custodian of community land and has ambitions to tap into the local community to facilitate recreational activities and events on the land, which in turn supports health and wellbeing.”

Northampton Borough Council will continue to cut the grass until June 2028 in order to uphold its contract with Veolia, after which the parish will also assume control over grass cutting.

The transfer also ensures that the borough council retains the right to acquire the site back at the same price of £100 should the parish council ‘no longer require the land to be held for public open space for community use’.

It will also be subject to advertisement to allow members of the public opportunity to comment on the transfer, which is legally required. Should any objections be received then the matter would come back before the Conservative cabinet.

The borough council will continue to cut the grass until 2028, when the parish council will also take that under control

Members of the cabinet are set to agree to the deal next week, which would delegate authority to complete the transfer to the economic growth and regeneration manager [Kevin Langley], in consultation with the borough secretary [Francis Fernandes], chief finance officer [Stuart McGregor] and cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise [Councillor Tim Hadland].