'WE'LL CHIP IN TO BUY MEADOW'
BY ALLAN TUDOR
11:00 - 22 April 2008
Residents are considering putting their hands in their pockets to buy up a meadow which is on Torbay Council's list of assets to sell off.Bowden Meadow in Maidencombe is among 40 sites in the Bay which could be sold as the council aims to raise at least £5million over the next three years to repair the borough's crumbling buildings and attractions.
Peter Huff, secretary of the Maidencombe residents' association, said there are fears about the possibility the site could be used as a housing plot.
He said: "Such is the strength of feeling we have had people in the community say they are prepared to chip in to buy this land for the village and set up a trust to run it for the villagers."
"The field is no longer stockproof and there is a pressing need for remedial work to the hedgerows and the stands of mature oaks on the northern boundary.
"When residents complained about the situation they were told that there was no money available.
"On at least one occasion a resident paid to have the field cut.
"It is ironic that in the past two weeks there has been an attempt to 'tidy up' part of the field and this has re-enforced residents' views that despite the 'consultation process' disposal is a foregone conclusion."
Mr Huff said the residents are objecting to the proposal to dispose of Bowden Meadow with planning consent for the construction of one or two dwellings
He said: "There is strong local opposition to the proposals from some of our members adjacent to the site."
He said the plot is within the coastal preservation area, a countryside zone, and in an area of great landscape value.
"We argue that the proposals will have a significant negative impact upon the locality."
A decision is due to be made by Torbay councillors next month on all the sites involved.