Rothamsted Park’s ownership changes
Ownership of Rothamsted Park and some other green spaces in Harpenden is to be transferred to the Town Council at no cost.
St Albans City and District Council (SADC), which currently owns and manages the community assets, agreed to the change at a meeting of its Cabinet on Thursday 19 March.
Harpenden Town Council will also take over open spaces at Wood End, Oakley Road, Parva Close and Roundwood Lane.
SADC has a policy of allowing such transfers to the District’s parishes where there is no detriment to the Council or residents.
There will be no purchase price and any savings made from SADC’s budget will be passed on to Harpenden residents through their share of Council Tax.
The deal is subject to a number of issues that will need to be resolved before the transfer is finalised.
These include whether to exclude Harpenden Town football club’s site in Rothamsted Park in the new arrangement.
SADC will also ask for a written commitment from HTC to maintain Rothamsted Park as an open space and not to develop the land to any significant extent.
Councillor Chris White, SADC’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate and Environment, said:
“Harpenden Town Council requested the transfer and we were open to it.
“We think it is preferable that parks, open spaces and some other community assets are managed by the local people closest to them.
“They are better positioned to make the day-to-day and long-term decisions about how best to maintain and improve the parks.
“This is an example of our commitment to working closely with other local authorities and devolving decision-making powers to the people on the ground.”
Cllr Brian Ellis, Town Mayor of Harpenden, said:
“We are excited at the prospect of owning these community assets and thank St Albans City and District Council for agreeing to our request
“Rothamsted Park is one of the most attractive features of Harpenden, a magnificent open space enjoyed by our residents, and we will be looking to make it even better in the years ahead.
“There are a few issues that are still to be ironed out, but we hope to have those resolved very soon.”