From wasteland to children's play area

PUBLISHED: 13:35 20 April 2007 | UPDATED: 22:44 28 May 2010

FENLAND Council has brokered an imaginative deal to fund a children s play area on overgrown scrubland off Williams Way, Manea. More than an acre of land acquired by the council designated as public open space in 1998 had become overgrown with brambles an

FENLAND Council has brokered an imaginative deal to fund a children's play area on overgrown scrubland off Williams Way, Manea.

More than an acre of land acquired by the council designated as public open space in 1998 had become overgrown with brambles and weeds after a property developer went into liquidation and failed to deliver on a Section 106 agreement to turn the land into a children's play area as part of a development deal.

The council has seized the opportunity to clear the land and create the play area by brokering a deal with local builder, Mick Dunkley, who was building 10 homes next to the wasteland and with the Fox family, who had donated the public open space to the council.

By selling less than a quarter of an acre on the edge of the building plot for a substantial sum to the builder to enable him to put up two additional houses and by working with the Fox family to alter the public open space covenant on the tiny piece of land so that the builder could buy it, the council generated enough money to pay to clear the brambles and construct a children's play area.

Without this imaginative approach, the land could well have remained a jungle for another decade. Work is to begin later this year on clearing the site and creating the play area.

Tim Mills, the council's director of housing and development, said: "The council has worked extremely hard with the Fox family and Mr Dunkley to develop an imaginative solution to deliver improved open space for the people of Manea.

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