£40K, take it or leave it says town council

Market Rasen Town Council will offer £40,000 to buy De Aston Field and “take the county council to task on it” if the offer is refused.

Lincolnshire County Council has had the land valued at £90,000, £20,00 an acre.

But last week town councillors voted to only offer half that amount for the land, which members want to develop for recreational purposes.

Coun Martin Harvey said it was “disgusting” that the county council had valued the land as if it was suitable for development, which due to drainage problems, all parties agreed it was not.

He said the land was only worth £10,000 an acre, the price of farmland in the area.

He added: “We all know it’s not development land so I do not see how Lincolnshire County Council can come up and say it’s worth £90,000.

“I think we should offer them £10,ooo an acre and take them to task on it. I think it’s disgusting what they are trying to do.”

Coun Ken Bridger said: “There are more houses being built in the town all the time.

“The county council is reaping the rates from these new houses but is not willing to help to provide the leisure facilities for the them.”

Market Rasen Town Council does have around £90,000 section 106 money to spend on De Aston Field, but councillors are keen to reserve some of this to spend on developing the land for recreation once it has been bought.

Coun Lynda Bowen added that the Localism Act 2011 had introduced a scheme called Community Right To Bid which directs authorities to look at a piece of land’s Assets of Community Value.

She said this calls on principal authorities to take into account the social value of the land to the wider community and value it accordingly.

But, town clerk Faye Lambkin-Smith told councillors that she had spoken to Rob Butler at Mouchel, the county council’s commercial property arm, who had confirmed that while the county council was happy to sell all of the De Aston Field site it would be at its market value and he did not see the need for further meetings to discuss the issue.

Kevin Kendall, from Lincolnshire County Council, said:“We received an independent valuation of the land and have put forward a proposal to the local authority for them to purchase as much of the land as they can afford, using the Section 106 money.”