Investment, Assets & Employment and Safer, Greener & Cleaner Places Cabinet Members – Minutes – 26 July 2017

1 (1) BULLS FIELD, BOTTESFORD – The Director: Operations submitted a report seeking approval to protect the area of public open space known locally as Bulls Field in Bottesford by creating a deed of dedication under the Fields in Trust Initiative.

Bulls Field was an area of public open space in Bottesford that until recently was leased by the council to Bottesford Town Council.  The lease expired with effect from 1 July 2017.  Unusually, despite the lease, the council retained all maintenance liabilities for the site.

As the site had now reverted back to the council upon expiry of the lease, it was proposed that the area was put into the Fields in Trust Initiative.
Fields in Trust were previously known as the National Playing Fields Association. Their aim was to protect and promote open spaces. They used charity and contract law to establish binding agreements and commitments that protected valuable public recreation land for the long term for future generations to enjoy.

The key reason for protecting open space was to ensure that everyone had access to a space close to where they lived, studied or worked for healthy, recreational activity including sport and play.

In order to protect a site certain minimum criteria applied as follows:

• The council as the owner must make the application to protect the site.
• Evidence of ownership must be provided.
• The site must be used for quiet recreation.
• The site must have public access.
• The site must be accessible in terms of location and affordability to the land community.
• The site must have a site manager who was responsible for maintenance, developments, improving people involvement and financial/operational  sustainability.

Resolved – That area of land known as Bulls Field in Bottesford be subject to a deed of dedication under the Fields in Trust initiative to protect the site for future generations.