Bearsted Parish Council agreed at its meeting on Tuesday to support the initiative to try to buy the land between Water Lane and Thurnham Lane as a community purchase. The Parish Council agreed to donate up to £80,000 from the Land and Building Fund on condition that the local community was also prepared to support the purchase. Full details are in the email below from Bearsted Woodland Trust, and pledges can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share with your local contacts.
"POSSIBLE COMMUNITY PURCHASE OF PART OF FORMER KIG SITE Two large plots of land which formed the western end of the former KIG site have recently been put up for sale (details can be seen on the Hobbs Parker website). The land is being sold with guide prices of agricultural land values, but there is a danger that a developer may wish to buy for its land bank, renewing the threat of a major housing or industrial development.
The former StopKig team have been considering the possibility of a community purchase of some or all of the land to protect it from development. If the community were to buy the land, it could be let to a farmer with perhaps the planting of thousands of trees near the motorway for noise and pollution attenuation. Later the community could possibly consider other uses such as: allotments, dog exercise area, equestrian pursuits or even junior football pitches, junior cricket pitch, golf practice ground etc.
Grants and other funding sources could be available in the medium term to fund any such projects, but the initial purchase would need to be funded by the community. The sums are enormous - £550-600k for plot A and £300-325k for plot B, and time is short - bids have to be in during August. But it has been suggested that it is not impossible that 500 families might each contribute £1000 (and a few may contribute much more) which would make a bid feasible.