Moulton has failed to raise the estimated £250,000 needed to put in a bid for a little over 23 acres of parkland that’s due to be sold tomorrow (Friday).
A packed public meeting last week supported calls for either a consortium of villagers or the parish council itself to stump up the cash to buy Moulton Park.
What the parish council have agreed to do is submit a bid for £50,000 for a five acre plot of land within the parkParish clerk Helen Worth
But the parish council heard on Monday that 17 people had collectively pledged a total of only £39,000 – just under half the number of people who previously said they would make a pledge.
Moulton Parish Council doesn’t have the £250,000 in its kitty and has already ruled out raising a loan.
Parish council clerk Helen Worth told the Spalding Guardian: “What the parish council have agreed to do is submit a bid for £50,000 for a five acre plot of land within the park.”
Mrs Worth said it’s highly unlikely that offer will be accepted, because it would mean dividing up the land pre-sale, but it could open the door for the council to buy land from the new owner post-sale.
She said the parish council had also sent a letter to South Holland District Council pledging support should it submit a bid to buy Moulton Park although the parish didn’t know if a bid would be made by the district.
Last week the parish council met and decided to approach Ashley King to ask for an extension to the December 18 sale deadline to allow more time for the village to raise the cash to submit a bid.
It wasn’t clear whether the land belonged to Mr King or one of his companies.
This week Mrs Worth said she had contacted agents Brown and Co and was told there would be no change to the process set out in the sales particulars. According to Brown and Co’s website, Moulton Park is “for sale by informal tender as a whole”.
She said: “I haven’t spoken to him (Mr King) personally but I have spoken to his agent and his agent has spoken with him.”
Mrs Worth said the parish council had approached Moulton Poor Trust to see if it could buy the land, but the trust cannot do so because it would be outside its constitution.
The parish council has been looking for land without success for some years to create a children’s play area and would like to use part of Moulton Park for that project. The park extends to more than 23 acres.
Moulton resident Andrew Malkin said he was disappointed the sale had not been postponed, but was “pleased to hear the council is still pursuing other avenues”.
• The Spalding Guardian twice contacted one of Mr King’s companies but Mr King has not made a comment on the sale.