This is a weekly update published by the Meldreth Parish Council Mettle Hill Working Party
Parish Council right to buy Mettle Hill
As has been clear from the start, Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC), which owns Mettle Hill, has never agreed to sell Mettle Hill to South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC), in spite of SCDC’s public announcement of their intention to buy it. Rather, if it wishes to sell the land, then CCC has an obligation to offer first refusal to the District and Parish Councils.
Meldreth Parish Council has made a formal indication of its interest in buying the land for community benefit and is working closely with Meldreth’s County Councillor toward land purchase. At the request of the Mettle Hill Working Party, Meldreth Parish Council is actively exploring funding options to purchase Mettle Hill.
At the same time SCDC continues to assert that it intends to purchase the land and to hold a full council decision-making meeting on the matter, on January 10. SCDC has three times changed the deadline for public questions, has yet to give an indication of what the agenda will contain, and has not yet decided on a venue.
Mettle Hill Fighting Fund
Thank you very much to residents who have kindly contributed to the Mettle Hill Fighting Fund, which is needed to help pay for professional advice. The target is £8,000. The total received thus far is £3,250. Donations large or small will be a great help.
Contributions can be either by way of cheque or cash taken to our collection point at The British Queen. Alternatively cheques can be sent to the Treasurer at 25 North End, Meldreth, SG8 6NR. Cheques should be payable to Mettle Hill Fighting Fund.
Planning and Legal
Formal written legal opinion has been received which strengthens the view that SCDC confidence in an easy reopening of Mettle Hill is misplaced, on planning grounds.
It has been established that even if the current planning consent for Mettle Hill were valid, it would need to be amended.
Freedom of Information (FOI)
First responses have been received on Freedom of Information requests and are being analysed. We can provide guidance if you want to lodge one of your own: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much for all the communication residents have forwarded on to the Working Party, including the responses received from emails, letters and phone calls to various groups. Please continue to do this via email@example.com.
The petition continues to collect signatures at www.mettlehill.com/petition