Cambridgeshire signs lease for March field

General View of Estover Playing Field ANL-151201-084136009
General View of Estover Playing Field ANL-151201-084136009

Plans to develop a March playing field can now move forward now the lease has been signed.

Cambridgeshire County Council has officially passed on the ownership of Estover Playing Field to the community.

Last year, the council had been considering a plan for housing and sports facilities on the 18-acre field, which had sparked outrage in the town.

But this was shelved in January when councillors agreed to pass the field onto the town following a motion by council leader Steve Count

Cllr Count officially signed the 125-year lease on Wednesday last week to pass on the playing field to the Estover Playing Field 2015 Community Interest Company, which will pay a £1 peppercorn rent.

Now an appeal is going out to find local people to join the group before applications can be submitted for funding to improve the facilities.

Cllr Count, who is also a March ward member, is delighted to see the field plans progress.

He said: “March should now benefit from new and improved sports facilities while keeping the site open to the wider community to be used for a range of recreational activities.

“I look forward to seeing the town council take forward the public consultation to ensure we get the best possible outcome in provision in facilities.

“This is a great example of partnership working between local councils and the community.”

Fenland District Council and March Town Council have pledged £100,000 worth of funding.

The community group has been set-up under the town council.

Leader of the town council Kit Owen said: “I am over the moon that we have got to this stage, it’s taken 17 months to get here.

“People have accepted that Estover is necessary and desirable and will assist in the future activities of the people of March and enhance individual fitness.

“I am thrilled about this as we have achieved what we set out to achieve.”