Brixham Town Council is very pleased to announce that it has successfully secured the Village Green, commonly known as Wishings Field, at a public auction on Thursday 27th April.
Wishings Field was registered on the Commons Register on 30th June 2010 following the outcome of a public inquiry in 2009. A local campaign group at the time claimed the field had provided an open space for local children to play for more than 60 years and the Planning Inspector found their evidence “very compelling”. The registration of the Village Green protected the space from being developed by the owners at the time.
The green has been privately owned and unfortunately left to deteriorate with little maintenance over the years. However, in recent times it was brought to the Town Council’s attention that it had changed hands.
At a Town Council meeting in July 2022, Councillors were presented with proposals to develop the area into nine properties, retaining some of the space for community use. Councillors raised concerns with the landowner that the proposals would be detrimental to the Village Green status, the Brixham Neighbourhood Plan and Torbay Local Plan. In an attempt to protect the Village Green, the Town Council held discussions with the landowner but in the end the owner decided to proceed with a public auction.
Richard Haddock, Town Council (outgoing) Chairperson said “The Town Council was keen to purchase the Village Green to protect it from risk of further development. We are overjoyed that we have been successful. The first aim is to remove the broken fencing and due to the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the Council will only be able to carry out minimal maintenance for the next few months.”
Tracy Hallett, Town Clerk said “The Village Green has an abundance ofwildlife and we have considered how we could enhance the space into an accessible wildlife habitat that may include a garden of reflection, community orchard or sensory garden. We will use our time during the nesting season to record all the different wildlife habitats and consult with the community before the Council considers the final plans.”
The Town Council will time its consultation with the release of the next issue of the Brixham Signal in July. Details will also be found on its social media sites and website. If anyone wishes to get involved to support the Council recording the different wildlife habitats, please get in touch on either 01803 859678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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