Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Victory as Oakfrith Wood in Urchfont will not be sold
11:00am Friday 3rd August 2012 in Devizes
Volunteers who hoped to keep Oakfrith Wood in Urchfont as an amenity for residents are delighted that it will not be sold off with the rest of the Urchfont Manor estate.
Negotiations between the Friends of Oakfrith Wood and Wiltshire Council have been continuing since January, when it was announced that Urchfont Manor College is to close in September and be sold off to the highest bidder.
There was concern that community access to the wood, the playing fields beside the school and the cricket pitch, all part of the estate, would not be available once it had been sold to a private individual.
But the parish council has announced the negotiations with Wiltshire Council have borne fruit and the wood and playing field will not be included in the sale.
Ian Maidment, chairman of the Friends of Oakfrith Wood, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic about the decision. There has been a tremendous amount of work gone on in the background since the announcement in January.”
A statement from Urchfont parish council said: “A very positive and constructive meeting was held on July 3 between local interested parties and Wiltshire Council to discuss the way in which it is proposed to deal with parts of the manor land, which are currently subject to community use.
“Oakfrith Wood will not be included in the sale. It is intended that it will be transferred to either the parish council or Friends of Oakfrith Wood.”
The cricket club’s Newsyde ground will be included in the sale but it is intended that a long-term lease will be put in place between the new owners and either the parish council or Urchfont Cricket Club.
The current permissive path between the village and Oakfrith Wood will have to close and the parish council is in negotiation with Wiltshire Council to find an alternative route for walkers to use.
Wiltshire Council has postponed marketing the estate until after the adult residential college in the 15th century manor house closes in September.
Comments are closed on this article.