Land sale con­cerns

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

MOLESWORTH res­i­dents have ex­pressed their con­cern at the pro­posed sale of a par­cel of land owned by the Derwent Val­ley Coun­cil.

A num­ber of res­i­dents say the site is an ex­tremely val­ued piece of com­mu­nity land.

In a no­tice in the Mer­cury on Novem­ber 17, af­ter it was first ad­ver­tised weeks ear­lier, the coun­cil is­sued its in­ten­tion to dis­pose of a block of land at 595 Molesworth Rd — a site which con­tains around 200m of walk­ing trails used by the Molesworth En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre for stu­dent ac­tiv­i­ties.

Neigh­bour to the prop­erty Jane Brad­shaw, whose fam­ily owned the site be­fore it was do­nated to the coun­cil for pub­lic use, said she was baf­fled as to why the coun­cil wanted to sell the land.

“This area gets used by thou­sands of stu­dents each year for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses driven by the en­vi­ron­ment cen­tre,” she said.

“It was do­nated to the coun­cil in the first place for pub­lic open space. I can’t un­der­stand how they can turn around and sell it and for what pur­pose?”

It’s be­lieved the coun­cil has been flooded with pub­lic let­ters ob­ject­ing to the pro­posal.

One of those sub­mis­sions was from for­mer coun­cil­lor James Gra­ham, who said he was “ques­tion­ing the process”.

“It seems to me the land has been ear­marked for a cer­tain pur­pose,” he said. “It’s a space that gets quite a lot of use by school stu­dents, so I think com­mon sense needs to pre­vail.”

Af­ter speak­ing with a num­ber of con­cerned Molesworth res­i­dents yes­ter­day, Derwent Val­ley Mayor Ben Shaw all but sig­nalled the site may be safe from sale.

“This will go to coun­cil, but I would say the com­mu­nity mem­bers, the pri­mary school and the en­vi­ron­ment cen­tre have put a good case for­ward show­ing we need this land as part of the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“I per­son­ally can’t see the coun­cil of­fload­ing it.

“No­tices of dis­posal are good ways for coun­cil to do the proper checks and gauge pub­lic feed­back.”

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