Community group launches fundraising campaign to save Oundle field

Fletton Field in Oundle
Fletton Field in Oundle

Campaigners are appealing for help to reach their target to protect an open space which has been loved by countless generations.

The Oundle Recreation and Green Spaces Group was set up in 2015 to protect the town’s accessible green spaces.

It has now launched a crowdfunding bid to secure the future of Oundle’s Fletton Field.

They’re trying to raise £280,000 to buy the field from Northamptonshire County Council so they can then hold and manage the land in trust for current and future generations as well as provide green open space for all.

Campaigners say Oundle already has a lack of accessible green space - 10 times less per person than Raunds and five times less than Burton Latimer.

They say losing this field will further reduce Oundle’s accessible green space by 40 per cent.

Christina Cork, chairman of Oundle Recreation and Green Spaces Group, said: “It is beyond any dispute that the town needs more amenity green spaces.

“Fletton Field is of critical importance to the town, in terms of its size, location and feel.

“Across the UK many local communities, just like Oundle, have successfully raised funds to save their green spaces.

“There is no reason why Oundle can’t also secure this last remaining area of freely accessible green space for all of its residents.”

The group is asking businesses, organisations and individuals to support them by pledging what they can to their land purchase fund.

They have already secured £225,000, which is 80 per cent of the funds needed, but the final fundraising push should help them with the outstanding 20 per cent.

Fletton Field was the primary school’s playing field until 2016 when the school moved to a new location.

It had previously been an allotment for Oundle’s workhouse.

The site was put up for sale by the current land owner, Northamptonshire County Council, and they plan to sell the site for development.

NCC had planning permission for housing on the site refused in 2016, with a lack of alternative green space provision being one of the reasons for it.

Oundle Town Council then applied to list Fletton Field as a formal village green, but the application was unsuccessful despite the appointed inspector recognising extensive use by Oundle residents.

East Northants councillors have listed Fletton Field as an asset of community value allowing the community the chance to raise funds and submit a bid for the land.

Connells, as the estate agent acting for NCC, has said the deadline for bids is late September, with a decision due on the preferred bid in mid-October.

Anyone who wants to support the group can do so by clicking here

Pledges will only be charged if the group is successful with its bid.

Anyone who is interested in supporting the campaign group can do so by contacting Oundle Town Council at Fletton House, calling 01832 272055, or emailing flettonfield@gmail.com

For more details about the campaign, go to www.saveflettonfield.org.uk.