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Council: We didn't give land away by mistake
COUNCIL bosses have moved to quell claims that they mistakenly handed over strips of land to a housing association.
Labour said Wycombe District Council had given Red Kite Community Housing the green spaces in error as part of the agreement to sell it 6,700 council homes in December.
Small areas of land across Wycombe were transferred as well as houses.
At a recent meeting the party's leader at WDC Cllr Victoria Groulef said she had learnt the land on Cherwell Road, Wooburn Green, was supposed to be retained, but then later passed over to Wooburn and Bourne End Parish Council.
Instead it had been transferred to Red Kite.
Cllr Groulef said: "According to council minutes back in December it should've been retained and not transferred.
"I can only presume that was done in error when cllrs voted back in December.
"I was under the impression, as were other Labour cllrs, that all of the land listed to be retained should've been retained instead of transferring to Red Kite.
"Otherwise why bother listing?"
She warned it could cost the parish council hundreds of pounds in legal fees even if the land was passed back by Red Kite for free.
Cllr David Carroll, Deputy Leader at WDC, said in a statement: “It was suggested WDC had mistakenly transferred the land to Red Kite rather than to the parish council.
“The transfer of these strips of land to the parish council did not take place prior to the Tenant Led Transfer (of the housing stock) because the parish council were not then in a position to receive them as they were still carrying out due diligence on whether the land had adopted status.
“The land, therefore, transferred to Red Kite as envisaged in the November Cabinet report which stated that it remained open to each party, i.e. Red Kite and local bodies to reach agreement on transfer of open spaces and play areas.
“This is what has now happened and the Deputy Clerk to Wooburn and Bourne End Parish Council has advised that at their most recent meeting on June 26 the parish council accepted the offer of land and parking spaces from Red Kite.”
Cllr Carroll added: “This is not a matter that has involved the Council at any stage. We did always envisage that some of the parish councils would approach Red Kite in this way.”
Red Kite has confirmed it has agreed to gift the land back to the parish council but it is not yet clear if it will face paying any related legal costs.
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