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Hixon residents look set to have won their battle against public open space being sold to a developer

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

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DETERMINED residents fighting plans for a road through public open space in Hixon look set to have won the battle – as council bosses do not want to sell it.

Hall Farm Close householders set up a residents association and were considering buying or leasing the neighbouring open space to ensure it was protected.

It followed Moreton Developments being given outline permission to build 12 homes on land north of Hall Farm Close. Access to the land was yet to be resolved as developers wanted to create an access road over the public open space.

Residents were left outraged as the land has a covenant on it, ruling it should be kept as open space.

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They collected a petition against it and vowed to try and take over the site, which is used extensively by adults and children.

Hixon Parish Council had also been considering raising a right to bid to buy the land if the borough council decided to sell it.

But Stafford Borough Council’s cabinet committee is next week set to agree not to sell the land and keep it as it is.

Nigel Baxter, chairman of the Hall Farm Close Residents’ Association, said: “Speaking on behalf of all the residents, this is fantastic news and will be very much welcomed.

“When we started this we said we did not have the resources of a developer, nor the professional expertise that they could access, but neither were we a bunch of nimbies or crackpots. We are just caring, exemplary citizens and residents of the borough whose rights we trust our local authority will protect.

“Twelve months ago we would not have thought of trying to buy the Public Open Space in Hall Farm Close. Our sole motivation all along as residents has been to preserve the public open space as it is now.

“We are pleased this recommendation is being made and will all be at the meeting on Thursday next week just to show the council the strength of support here.”

Will Conaghan, spokesman for Stafford Borough Council, added: “The cabinet will meet next week to discuss a proposal that the public open space at Hall Farm Close be retained by the council as public open space.”

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