Wimpey Park – Please Read

Think your park is safe – think again! Although Blaby District Council (BDC) have said they will not build on Wimpey Park (SOUTHEY CLOSE RECREATION GROUND), there is nothing in place to stop them doing exactly that!

Wimpey Action Group (WAG) have repeatedly asked BDC to protect our park in perpetuity via a Fields in Trust Deed of Dedication; we have even offered to pay for this. But BDC have refused, preferring instead to apply a restrictive covenant (stating the land should remain as public open space) to the park at the point it is transferred to Enderby Parish Council. When the transfer will happen, we don’t know as apparently further land testing is required, the timescales for which are unknown. We also asked Enderby Parish Council (EPC) to ask BDC to protect our park via fields in trust – they declined!

The problem with a restrictive covenant is that it can be removed and there are numerous examples of this happening particularly in favour of affordable housing.

A Fields in Trust Deed of Dedication can only be removed if the landowner offers an alternative piece of land in replacement of equal or better quality that serves the same community. As neither BDC or EPC own any replacement land in the vicinity this would not be an option for them.

We have contacted all current BDC councillors to ask if they would support our call for Fields in Trust protection for our park. Their responses were:

One response on behalf of all Conservative councillors (23 councillors) that declines the Fields in Trust option, preferring a restrictive covenant that as we have stated above can be removed.

One response on behalf of all Labour councillors (6 councillors) indicating that they may consider reviewing the council’s position IF they are ever in a position to effect change.

One response on behalf of all Liberal Democrat councillors (6 councillors) and prospective councillors agreeing that Fields in Trust is the best way to protect our park and all green spaces and fully supporting our aim of protecting the long-term future of our park.

Are you aware that the King George V park on Mill Lane is protected by Fields in Trust? As are 12 other parks across the Blaby District.

Our concern is, if sincere in their promise that they will not build on our park, why would Conservative-led BDC not wish to guarantee this via Field In Trust and instead opt for a restrictive covenant which can be removed. Remember this is the same Conservative led council who voted to sell part of Trinity Park in Whetstone for affordable housing!

Please use your vote to protect our park and other green spaces in Blaby District at the Blaby

District Council Election on 4th May 2023.