Why it’s green for go in Belchford thanks to new land deal

Parish councillors in Belchford, (left to right) Ian Goodhall, Peter Hughes, Simon Miller and Miranda Brown
Parish councillors in Belchford, (left to right) Ian Goodhall, Peter Hughes, Simon Miller and Miranda Brown

Belchford is widely regarded as one of the prettiest villages in the Lincolnshire Wolds and members of the local Parish Council mare determined to keep it that way.

When a key parcel of land look set to be turned over to developers, they sprang into action.

With the help of several organisations, they agreed to buy part of the site.

Now, 18 months on, it is set to be transformed into a ‘green oasis’.

What’s more, the land will have village green status, ensuring it is protected from any further development for several years.

The project is being spearheaded by Simon Miller who is vice-chairman of the parish council.

He is calling on other communities under threat from developers to follow Belchford’s lead.

Coun Miller said: “It has been hard work and but as a council, we were determined to see this happen.

“At the moment, we have pretty much a blank canvas.

“Various suggestions have been put forward - including a children’s playground - and we will take it any ideas forward.

“The whole area will be grassed and be an amenity for the benefit of the entire village.

“It would be great to think our village gala could be resurrected. This would be the ideal site.”

Parish councillor Peter Hughes said the creation of a village amenity fulfilled a long-held ambition for many villagers.

He added: “We have consulted with local people and it is something residents have wanted. It’s been on-going for 15 years or more and now it’s happening, it is tremendous.”

The site was previously farmland, owned by the Denis Richardson Trust.

Initially, there were plans to build more than half-a-dozen detached homes on the site, but that prompted strong objections from residents.

The Trust agreed to sell two acres to the parish council for a ‘knock down’ £10,000.

There will be some housing - but ‘only ‘ at the Narrow Lane end of the site.

Financial help has come from ELDC, the County Council and Belchford Ahead.

More grants will be needed to fund ventures like a playground. The site has been levelled and there will be extensive tree planting.

The parish council will retain ownership but the site will be run by a residents’ committee.