Rent agreement in pipeline for De Aston Field?

A long-term lease or a peppercorn rent agreement may see De Aston Field made available for Market Rasen residents for recreation.

The suggestion of a lease deal between the owners of the land, Lincolnshire County Council, and Market Rasen Town Council came from Coun Burt Keimach after the Rasen Mail reported last week that negotiations between the authority had stalled.

The town council wants 
to purchase the land from 
the county council so it can 
be developed for recreational use.

A price for the land could not be agreed, but now Coun Burt Keimach has suggested the town could lease the land from the county and still use it for recreation.

He said: “De Aston Field is still contentious after all these years. What I’m doing is exploring other options.

“It’s my idea that the town does not actually need to own the land. A low cost 25 year lease, a peppercorn rent or something else entirely where the town do not have to buy the land but can still develop it for recreation may be the answer.”

Coun Keimach, Market Rasen’s representative on Lincolnshire County Council, said he would be speaking to officers from the authority this week about the possibility of such a deal.

The town council has around £90,000 which has been ring-fenced to spend on providing recreational facilities for residents.

Mayor Steve Bunney 
had hoped to purchase De Aston Field for around £45,000, leaving half the money to create new leisure facilities.

New allotments, a new playground and parkland have all been discussed as potential uses for De Aston Field.

Whatever happens a decision needs to be made soon as the town council may lose half of the Section 106 money ring-fenced for the project if it is not spent by July.

Coun Keimach said he wanted to avoid this at all costs and to keep the money in the town.

Coun Bunney said a lease agreement was what was 
first suggested two or 
three years 
ago, but was then rejected by Lincolnshire County Council.

He said he would be happy to see De Aston Field leased for the benefit of the town.

He added: “From our point of view at that time we were very happy to take it on a lease and we would still be happy with that.

“And that would give us more money to develop the field for recreational purposes.”