'I hope they grasp this with both hands': Chance for village to own green

Beyton village green last month when the play area was taped off due to an insurance issue.

Beyton village green last month when the play area was taped off due to an insurance issue. The village now has the chance to own the land - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Suffolk village may finally own its green after the owners offered to sell it to the parish.

Beyton, near Bury St Edmunds, has a central green featuring a play area, but it doesn't currently own the land - that is in the ownership of the Ladies of the Manor.

A recent issue over insurance saw the play equipment closed, a problem that highlighted one of the benefits of the village owning its green, said Graham Jones, parish council chairman.

He said the Ladies of the Manor have offered to sell the land for £15,000, with a total cost of about £20,000 once expenses are taken into account.

Beyton village green is currently owned by the Ladies of the Manor

Beyton village green is currently owned by the Ladies of the Manor - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Beyton Parish Council has organised a village open forum to take place in Beyton Vestry on Saturday, March 26, from 2pm to 5pm to hear residents' views.

This will be followed by an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, April 12, at 7.30pm, again in the Vestry and open to all villagers. Both will help councillors come to a final decision on the issue.

Mr Jones said owning the green would give "security for the village in the long term".

He said: "The Ladies of the Manor have offered it to us - the freehold - and I hope, I really hope, the people of Beyton grasp this with both hands."

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He said taking ownership would preserve the green for the people of Beyton in the near and further future, possibly forever.

He added: "That will put to bed a lot of the issues we have had, particularly with the insurance and whether or not we can put further play equipment on the green for the children.

"There's been discussion for some time within the parish council, but now I think the insurance really brought the issue to a head.

"We were in a position where we had no choice but to close it off for that time whilst we sorted it out."

He said Section 106 monies for infrastructure could go towards the purchase. The village won't have to fundraise for the land, Mr Jones added.

We made efforts to contact the agent for the Ladies of the Manor.

Villagers needing more information can contact the parish clerk by email.