Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Clare: Confusion over future of country park

11:14 14 May 2014

Clare Country Park

Clare Country Park

Archant

The future of a picturesque west Suffolk park remains in doubt after it was claimed there were still “some uncertainties” to overcome before a deal can be reached.

Clare Town Council has been negotiating with Suffolk County Council for years about taking over Clare Country Park, with the county council submitting its latest prospective deal in the past few days.

The town council will be handed a lump sum to take over the park’s ownership and maintenance, although town council chairman Keith Haisman said it would have to “go back and clear up some uncertainties” before any deal could be struck.

It comes after accusations of double standards against Suffolk County Council over Brandon Country Park.

The county council performed a U-turn over the park last year, deciding to continue managing it despite initially trying to pass it on – leaving many in Clare wondering why the county cannot keep Clare’s country park on its books.

A council spokesman last night said handing over the parks “was a case-by-case process”, and that retaining Brandon was found to be “cheaper and more efficient” for the council.

It marks the latest twist in the saga that has been ongoing since 2010 and involved councils, groups from Clare as well as the National Trust and English Heritage.

Mr Haisman said: “We’ve got the right headings, but we’re not sure if the numbers are right – we’ll have to go back and clear up some uncertainties.”

The 38-acre park housesClare Castle, more than 1,000 trees, footpaths, railway bridges and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery.

Mr Haisman also told last week’s annual town meeting the council was preparing a bid for a “seven-figure” sum from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About Brandon, he added: “Between some arrangement between Suffolk County Council and Forest Heath, West Suffolk, they seem to have a nice, brand new country park. That’s what’s happening in Brandon, and we put the question ‘if Brandon, why not Clare?’ We had a bit of an answer, but not satisfactory. It remains a bit of an issue for the town council.”

Talks between Brandon Town Council and Suffolk County Council over Brandon’s country park broke down in December 2012, with Suffolk County Council now owning and running the site, supported financially by Forest Heath.

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council said: “When we went through the divestment process for Suffolk County Council-owned parks and picnic sites, this was not a cut-and-dry approach, we took each site into consideration when deciding its future. This was a case-by-case process.

During the divestment process and after looking into Brandon Country Park, it worked out cheaper and more efficient for us to keep ownership of the site than to hand it over to anyone else.”

Mr Haisman said he hoped a public consultation would be launched 
about the proposals within the next month.

1 comment

  • Suffolk County Council pushed Long Melford into accepting all the costs to run Rodbridge park. Now their parish chairman Peter Turner says running the park is "a struggle." Negotiations with SCC in Ipswich are very one-sided, they have millions to spend on legal resources when parish councils struggle to find a few thousand pounds to pay for expert advice.

    Report this comment

    Steve Kimminau

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Stock image of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

A boy has been airlifted to hospital following a collision in Witham this evening.

Mark Bee and George Nobbs at Beccles bridge in 2013 - both former leaders voted against the devolution deal.

Suffolk’s councils have done their bit on approving the government’s devolution proposals – but the decision on whether to proceed remains up in the air.

The B1035 Clacton Road in Horsley Cross is closed after a collision involving a lorry and a car.

A man has died following a crash between a lorry and a car in Horsley Cross, near Manningtree.

Tattingstone village sign.

A reward of up to £5,000 has been offered following a “horrendous crime” in a Suffolk village in which pensioner was assaulted.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Passenger satisfaction levels in the region’s rail operator have dropped in key areas including value for money and punctuality, a new poll has revealed.

David Silver has opened a new museum in Leiston housing an amazing collection of historic Honda motorcycles. James May and Freddie Spencer officially opened the museum.

Motorcycle lovers with special affection for a certain manufacturer relished the chance to explore a unique collection unveiled in Suffolk.

A man police would like to speak to following three alleged fraud incidents in Ipswich

Suffolk police officers have released an image of a man they would like to speak to following three incidents of alleged fraud in Ipswich.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24