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Appeal launched as Bures Common Land Trust aims to secure water meadow for community

A village charity hopes to secure a prominent water meadow for the benefit of the community, after the land was put up for sale.

Bures Common Lands Trust (BCLT) wants to hear from anyone who has already put in offers for sections of the water meadow, off Colchester Road.

Half of the meadow is for sale with Barney Estates and Auctioneers as six separate half-acre parcels of land – known as ‘The Colchester Road Collection’ – at a guide price of £10,000.

Bures water meadow is currently on the market. Picture: Contributed
Bures water meadow is currently on the market. Picture: Contributed

However, BCLT said there was strong support from Bures residents for it to try to acquire the water meadow on behalf of the village.

The trust, which has managed Bures Common since an appeal in 2011 saw it purchased for the community, said it had formally expressed an interest in the meadow with the auctioneers.

It is awaiting the result of a grant application to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ community ownership fund to help with the purchase.

The Government funding pot, which is available until March 2025, is intended to help voluntary groups across the UK to acquire assets and amenities at risk of being lost and run them for their local communities.

If the bid is successful, the money would provide BLCT with 80 per cent of the market price, as assessed by a qualified independent valuer, with remaining funds to be sourced from grants and pledges.

But, with an outcome on the application not expected for another month, the charity wants to speak to anyone who has contacted Barney Estates and was in the process of purchasing one of the land parcels.

BCLT secretary Gill Jackson told SuffolkNews: “We’ve got a high level of support from the village, from public consultation at the market, on Facebook, and in response to a piece in our parish magazine.

“Because it would be a significant purchase, we have put in a bid with the community ownership fund. It was a complex application and the assessment is stringent.

“When we went to the auctioneers to express our interest, they told us to come back to them when we have the money, which is understandable.

“We said we were serious in our interest, but they weren’t prepared to take it out of the auction process.”

According to the Barney Estates website, three of the roadside land parcels have sold so far.

BLCT is now encouraging any prospective buyers to get in touch so they can discuss their plans, in the hope of working together on how the land could be used in future.

Gill added: “The auctioneers have decided to split it into little half-acre parcels. This has tapped into a completely different market.

“They say they had sold several plots in that way, so I put out an appeal on Facebook in case there was someone local buying a plot, asking them to contact us so we could work together.

“We want to appeal to anyone part way through purchasing a plot, if they are willing to work with us.”

For more information, go to www.burescommonlandtrust.co.uk

To get in touch with the BCLT, email burescommonlandtrust@gmail.com