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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/09/2005
Lease of The Moat, Elstead, to English Nature



Summary & Purpose
To seek approval for a 5 year lease of The Moat countryside site to English Nature.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A
Positive
N/A


APPENDIX F
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 6th SEPTEMBER 2005

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Title:
Lease of The Moat, ELSTEAD, to English Nature

[Ward Affected: Elstead and Thursley]
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Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972

The annexe to this report contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded during the item to which the report relates, as specified in Paragraph 9 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, viz:- Any terms proposed or to be proposed by or to the authority in the course of negotiations for a contract for the acquisition or disposal of property or the supply of goods or services.

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Summary and purpose:

To seek approval for a 5 year lease of The Moat countryside site to English Nature.

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Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

The land provides car parking and access to English Nature’s Thursley National Nature Reserve, which is an internationally important heathland site.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There would be some savings to the Council in staff time and management resources as English Nature would take over the day-to-day management of the site. Each party would bear its own costs.

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Background

1. The Council owns 4.5 hectares of land adjacent to English Nature’s Thursley National Nature Reserve. The land was acquired as public open space in 1973 and consists of one third of the area of the pond known as The Moat (English Nature owns the remaining two thirds), a car park that provides parking for the general public accessing the pond and the adjoining Nature Reserve and a small area of heathland. The site is contiguous with the National Nature Reserve with no boundary visible on the ground and is covered by the same designations. In March 2004, English Nature approached Waverley Borough Council about leasing the site known as The Moat as it would make operational sense if the car park, the pond and the adjoining Nature Reserve were managed as one unit.

2. English Nature does not intend to change the current use or character of the site. Their interest is in being able to provide information about their nature reserve at the main access point and to facilitate the integrated management of the whole area. They have the same remit as Waverley Borough Council in promoting conservation and public access to their sites.

3. The advantages of English Nature taking over the site would be:-

Providing a unified management approach to the whole area.

Increasing the staff presence on-site and responsiveness in dealing with problems. English Nature has one full time ranger allocated to this site, whereas the Waverley Countryside Ranger, because of the number of dispersed sites he has to cover, is only able to visit the site for an hour a week.

Bringing additional resources for infrastructure maintenance.

Integrating the parking provision with access to an extensive area of heathland and common land stretching from The Moat to Thursley village and the A3.

4. A meeting was held with Elstead and Thursley Parish Councils in December 2004 to discuss the proposal. As a result of this, an initial five-year lease is proposed to test how the new arrangements work. A Management Agreement, which forms part of the lease, details the way the site is to be managed and secures its continuing use as a car park for the public visiting the local countryside as well as its use by model boat enthusiasts and for existing and appropriate community events.

Recommendation

That a lease of The Moat be granted to English Nature for an initial period of five years on the terms set out in the (Exempt) Annexe to this report.

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Background Papers (BE & LM; BP & DM)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Jane Bowden Telephone: 01483 523443

E-mail: jbowden@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Ailsa Rhodes Telephone: 01483 523459

E-mail: arhodes@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2005-06/091