Monday, 21 September 2020

Council to seek lease on land

BENSON Parish Council is to pursue a 99-year lease on a piece of land in the village.

The Salt Store, off St Helen’s Avenue, is owned by Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, and was allocated for parking use in the village’s neighbourhood plan.

The parish council wanted to buy the plot but the county council only offered it on a lease of £200 a year for it to be a wildlife site.

The land was previously used to tip road sweepings until it was turned into a green space.

It has been predicted that it will be needed for car parking by the year 2025 due to hundreds of new homes being built in the village.

Parish councillor Ian Skeels said keeping the land safe for the village for the next 100 years was a good idea as the lease was not expensive.

Vice-chairwoman Patricia Baylis said: “We have been trying to get this land for 30 years.

“It seems to me that the county council are never going to sell it, at least not in my lifetime. It’s just not going to happen so this is the way forward.

“If it did turn out that they were going to do something with it or put up the rent there are break clauses.”

Last year, Benson scout group asked the parish council about the possibility of building a new hut at the Salt Store but the idea was ruled out.

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