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Borough Council: "Let us buy Oakfield Rec"

Rugby Borough Council has reaffirmed its commitment to protect Oakfield Recreation ground as a public open space, by submitting a formal offer to buy the land.

Oakfield Recreation Ground is owned by the Heart of England Cooperative Society and, until recently, was leased and maintained by Rugby Borough Council as a local park. However, that lease expired in June last year with the Co-op fencing the site off and refusing to enter discussions on a new long-term lease. In a letter sent at that time, the Co-op's solicitor told the council that their client did not want to sell the land.

The Co-op withdrew an appeal against refusal of planning permission for housing on the land in April, and the council understands that the society may now be willing to sell the site.

Cllr Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: "I know from my discussions with the Save Oakfield group and from the local ward councillors that the Oakfield Recreation Ground fulfils an important role in a community that has limited access to open space.

"We have offered to buy the site on previous occasions and been turned down, but one year on since the site was fenced off and with no prospect of the land being put to any other use at this time we want to remove any doubt the Co-op may have that our offer still stands.

It has long been an ambition of ours to improve Oakfield Rec as a community facility, and with a positive response we can still make that happen."

Rugby Borough Council has submitted a formal offer to the Co-op's new solicitors, on the advice of their land agent.

Oakfield Recreation Ground is listed as an asset of community value, following a successful application that was submitted by the Save Oakfield group.

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