Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Parishes’ wrangle over land, settled

A PARISH council has lost its fight to keep responsibility for a sports field.

A PARISH council has lost its fight to keep responsibility for a sports field.

Pyrton Parish Council had included the land in its proposed neighbourhood plan area even though it had been moved into Watlington parish under boundary changes made last year.

Pyrton was unhappy at the move, which it called a “land grab” and said it threatened the existence of the parish.

Now it has been told the new boundaries must apply and that the sports field on the northern edge of Watlington and adjacent to Shirburn Road is in the neighbouring parish.

The decision was taken by South Oxfordshire District Council officer Peter Canavan, who said: “Pyrton Parish Council has applied for the parish to be designated using the old parish boundary to ensure land does not get left out of either Pyrton or Watlington’s neighbourhood plans.

“To resolve this matter, officers consider that both neighbourhood plans should reflect the new parish council boundary.

“This means an amendment to the Watlington designated neighbourhood area, which has been discussed and agreed in principle. This can be undertaken.

“Similarly, this means Pyrton Parish Council need only include land within its new parish boundary.”

Ian Hill, chairman of Watlington Parish Council, said he had spoken to John Curtis, his counterpart in Pyrton, who was “quite happy” with the decision.

The playing field is leased by Watlington Parish Council from Beechwood Estates.

Pyrton Parish Council objected to losing it, saying this would make development of the land more likely as it is next to brownfield land.

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