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Moulton villagers to finally get play area after South Holland District Council approves planning application

Decades of waiting have finally come to an end after planners gave the green light for a play area in Moulton.

Children and youngsters in the village will at last have a recreational area in Moulton Park following unanimous backing of South Holland District Council’s planning committee at a meeting last night (Wednesday, January 10).

Moulton Parish Council’s application to create a play area on a third of an acre was approved by committee members – which has brought to an end more than a year of wrangling between the two authorities over the plans.

Moulton Park
Moulton Park

The district council had purchased Moulton Park in 2016 and is now selling it to the John and Maureen Biggadike Foundation, which has also submitted a planning application to open up the park to the public.

Chairman of the district council Andrew Woolf, who is also a member of the parish council, appealed to the committee to support the application to change the use of that section of the park.

He said: “Moulton is unique as it doesn’t have anywhere that the general public can go to take their recreation. This has been a very long time coming.

Coun Andrew Woolf
Coun Andrew Woolf

“I hope the committee will support and allow the parish council to go in and put the fencing up and let the people go in and enjoy it.”

Ward member Thomas Sneath made a plea to members of the committee to support the application by highlighting the limited places available to village youngsters.

He said: “Moulton is a beautiful village with a windmill, tea rooms, church, butchers shop, primary school and even a sports ground but for as long as I can remember we have never had an area of recreational ground open to the public and more importantly a safe space.

Coun Thomas Sneath
Coun Thomas Sneath

“The only areas children can meet are the church yard, cemetery, village green, village hall car park, plus small areas of open space in housing estates, Moulton Mill car park and the doctors car park which are not safe sites.

“This application will address the many needs requested by people.

“They want a small area of grassland within a short distance of the village centre to sit and relax and have a picnic with their children.

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“Those with older children would like a dedicated place to meet up and be safe.”

Coun Anthony Casson, who is a ward member and had been working on the plans for some time, said: “Moulton Parish Council has been looking for a recreational area for as long as I can remember and I am led to believe that it is a lot longer than that.

“I am pleased that we have offered this land to the parish council.”

The application was supported by Coun Paul Redgate, who proposed the recommendation to approve it.

Coun Gary Taylor welcomed the application and additional open space.

He said: “We heard the passion from local councillors and we know local residents have been fighting this battle for a long time and they have not given up. It has taken a long time.

“We do need to learn lessons from this application and operate in a bit of quicker way in the future. I know things have speeded up since May when we changed portfolios and made good progress.

“We need to encourage local people to use this as they have been fighting the battle for a long time.”

Fleet councillor Paul Barnes warned Moulton of potential parking problems created by people from outside the area coming to use the park while Coun Bryan Alcock urged for the entrance to the park to be made secure.

Are you pleased the application was approved? Post a comment below.

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