Auction success saves Ascot woodland

Published: 21 Dec 2013 09:300 comments

THE future of a popular woodland in Ascot is secure following a successful bid by the Royal Borough to take ownership.

Woodlands Rise, in South Ascot, was secured at a public auction on Monday after the council won with a bid of £400,000.

The 4.3-acre site will be for public use, following concerns from both residents and the council that any potential new owners could fence the area off and restrict its access.

Cllr Michael Saunders, cabinet member for planning and property, said: “We were left in no doubt by South Ascot residents that, despite there being no protected rights of way, Woodlands Rise is an important piece of community land, much enjoyed by dog walkers, joggers and others who love this area of green space.

“There was huge fear that any new owner would fence off the area and exclude local people.

“So, with such a high degree of community support, we felt justified in putting in a bid for the site.

“I am sure everyone in the area who uses Woodlands Rise will be satisfied with the outcome because it means that public access will continue free and unabated.”

Cllr Simon Dudley, cabinet member for finance, added: “The Woodlands Rise bid demonstrates the council’s determination to listen to residents and, wherever possible, take decisive action on their behalf.

“Acquiring a well-used woodland right next door to our own Allens Field public space makes good sense, enables an enhanced community amenity and is an excellent use of council taxpayers’ money.

“Spending of this nature is made possible by the council’s commitment to better and more effective public services and at the same time lower council tax.”

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