Joy as community set to benefit from new country park
PUBLISHED: 14:02 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:26 14 March 2019
A new country park is set to transform open space land close to a major housing development.
The land in Oulton, near Lowestoft, has been transferred to Waveney District Council – with the new Woods Meadow 50-acre country park set to benefit the community in years to come.
Local residents will be able to enjoy the new country park in the future after the council took ownership of the open space land at Woods Meadow.
The land at Woods Meadow was allocated for residential development in 1996 and in 2013 as planning consent was granted for about 800 houses, community facilities, a primary school and a country park.
The first phase of the development, for 246 homes, was approved in 2014 with the school – The Limes Primary Academy – opening last year.
The land has been transferred to Waveney as part of a planning agreement with Persimmon Homes, following nearby residential development.
As part of ‘Section 106 Agreement’ arrangements, Persimmon Homes has contributed funding for the development and maintenance of the 50-acre park for the next 10 years.
Waveney District Council leader, Mark Bee, said: “We have been working with Oulton Parish Council and Persimmon Homes for some time to move this land into our ownership.
“This space, which will be managed by Waveney Norse on our behalf, will be available for the community to enjoy and we will be working closely with local residents, the primary school and the Parish Council to ensure this space meets their needs.”
Brian Hunter, chairman of Oulton Parish Council, added: “Oulton Parish Council welcomes the long awaited handover of the Woods Meadow 50-acre country park.
“The Parish Council will continue to play its part in encouraging local parishioners, equine users, the local school and environmental visitors to participate in consultations along with the newly proposed Park Warden to bring about a country park fit for purpose that everyone can visit and enjoy.”
From April 1, Waveney Norse will manage the park on behalf of the district council through its countryside team and it is hoped that a Woods Meadow Friends Group will be established in the future.
A council spokesman added: “The first steps for the country park will be an initial wildlife survey and consultation with potential park users, including dog walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders.”