Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Recreation ground rent ‘too high’

WATLINGTON Parish Council believes it is paying too much to rent the town’s recreation ground and sports field.

The sports pitches, off Shirburn Road, are leased 
from Beechwood Estates and are used by both cricket and football teams.

Councillor Nicky Smallbone said a payment for half the rent was due but that the council had still not had a reply to its request for a rent review.

She told a council meeting: “The feeling among us is we have been paying too much rent and they may have realised that and are keeping quiet.”

She said the council’s finance committee had looked at what other councils had been paying for recreation grounds and felt it had been paying “over the odds” by comparison.

The meeting heard the recreation ground hadn’t been fully used in the last few months and Cllr Smallbone suggested paying half the rent.

Councillor Tim Horton said Beechwood Estates was now a subsidiary of another company and suggested writing to this firm.

Vice-chairman Ian Hill agreed saying: “It’s just not an acceptable situation to leave us hanging like this.”

Chairman Matt Reid said the pavilion at the recreation ground was running on a grant this year because of the lack of income from the sports clubs.

Members agreed to pay half the rent.

Meanwhile, floodlights could be installed at the sports field.

Councillor Keith Woolfson suggested the idea at a meeting of the council’s pavilion and sports field sub-committee.

The eight floodlights would need planning permission and the consent of Beechwood Estates.

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