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Residents wait for Millennium green cash

PUBLISHED: 03:51 13 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

RESIDENTS at Felixstowe Ferry were today told they had two extra weeks to raise the cash they need for a millennium green.

The Countryside Agency told The Evening Star that it had given the charity behind the project to create one of the smallest village greens in the country a second stay of execution.

RESIDENTS at Felixstowe Ferry were today told they had two extra weeks to raise the cash they need for a millennium green.

The Countryside Agency told The Evening Star that it had given the charity behind the project to create one of the smallest village greens in the country a second stay of execution.

It had threatened to take back a £65,000 grant it had given to the Felixstowe Ferry Trust – leaving the trustees angry and frustrated as they had still not reached their deadline for finding the £211,000 they need to buy the land.

But Elizabeth Goulding, national project manager for the millennium green programme for the Countryside Agency, said a letter would be sent to the trust chairman Tony Ratcliffe today, extending the grant offer to October 26.

"We had given the trust until September 30 because we are under contractual obligations to the Millennium Commission over the distribution of this grant money," said Ms Goulding.

"We have since been contacted by the trust, which says it is nearly able to find the match funding and just needs a little bit more time – and they are confident they will be able to find the money.

"It has been decided to extend the grant offer by two weeks to October 26. We think the green idea at Felixstowe Ferry is an extremely good one, which is why we have supported it. We are loathe to lose any of these projects and we thought it churlish not to give them a bit longer when they say they are so close."

The trust is more than half-way towards its target, having raised more than £30,000 in the past year towards the scheme.

The landowners, The Felixstowe Ferry Syndicate, who have permission to build luxury homes or a holiday village on the site, have given the trust an exclusive option to buy with a November deadline.

Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer has been called in to help save the scheme and chaired a meeting of local interested parties, including officers and cabinet members from the county and district councils.

As well as providing an amenity, a possible camping site for sailing event competitors or educational trips, and a buffer between the commercial part of the Ferry and countryside, the trust believes the creation of the green will bring greater use of the coastal foot and cycle paths and help sustain the increasing use of the ferry to and from Bawdsey.

WEBLINK: www.countryside.gov.uk

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