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Cash help for village green

PUBLISHED: 16:18 27 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 March 2010

HOPES of creating one of the country's smallest village greens and keeping the land free from development for future generations have received a cash boost.

HOPES of creating one of the country's smallest village greens and keeping the land free from development for future generations have received a cash boost.

The Felixstowe Ferry Trust has been awarded a grant of £5,000 by Suffolk Coastal Council provided it can raise all the money it needs to buy the site – but the trust feels it should have been given more.

The trust had applied for twice the amount, but the district resources sub committee was faced with applications totalling £130,000 with only £68,000 to give away.

It still leaves the trust needing to find around half of the £210,000 it needs to purchase the land – with only four months until the option to buy from the owners The Felixstowe Ferry Syndicate expires.

The syndicate has existing planning permission to develop the site – opposite Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club, on the Ferry Cafe side of the Ferry Boat Inn – as a holiday village or homes.

Trust chairman Tony Ratcliffe said he was disappointed at the grant.

"I really do feel we need as much support as we can get. Suffolk County Council came forward and gave us a capital grant of £10,000 and I think the district council should have at least matched the county's figure," he said.

If the trust succeeds in buying the land, it will designate it as a Millennium Green.

It says this will bring greater use of the coastal footpath and cycle path and help sustain the increasing use of the foot ferry between Felixstowe Ferry and Bawdsey, and enable greater use of the unspoilt area, well known worldwide for its sailing and educational visits to study estuarine habitats.

The trust has so far obtained a £65,000 grant from the Countryside Association and a pledge of £2,000 from the town council, several donations, and is hoping to persuade businesses to give grant aid.

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