A council has walked away from a deal which would have seen the management of a popular green space transferred to them.

Dereham Town Council announced it has rejected Breckland Council’s offer to take over management responsibilities at Neathered Moor, after a disagreement over the payment structure, and the responsibility of bin management.

Earlier this year the town council suggested a new term in the deal to find a breakthrough in the discussions which have been ongoing since October 2021, over which of the councils would be responsible for emptying the bins, which led to the deal being put on hold.

Dereham Times: Neathered Moor in DerehamNeathered Moor in Dereham

Dereham Town Council suggested Breckland take off £5,000 from its £125,000 proposal but retain responsibility for emptying the dog bins - but it was declined.

Earlier this month, the town council’s heritage and open spaces committee recommended declining the deal, which was agreed at full council on December 12.

A spokesman for Dereham Town Council said: “The costs and the risks of taking over the responsibilities were not sufficiently balanced by the funding on offer.

“The town council had offered to take the responsibilities if the money could be paid as a lump sum and Breckland continued to empty the dog bins, but this was turned down by Breckland. Additional issues had also come to light regarding the condition of the trees and the costs needed to bring these up to a good standard.”

Dereham Times: Paul Hewett, executive member for property, projects and procurement at Breckland Council Paul Hewett, executive member for property, projects and procurement at Breckland Council (Image: Breckland Counci)

Councillor Paul Hewett, executive member for property, projects and procurement at Breckland Council added: “At Breckland Council, we are proud of our strong partnership approach and our track record of working collaboratively and constructively with organisations across the district to deliver for our communities.

“At their meeting on February 9 this year, Dereham Town Council unanimously agreed to take over management responsibilities for the Neatherd.

“They have now reversed that decision, which is disappointing as they had initially requested to take over responsibilities in 2019. That said, if after three years of discussions Dereham Town Council has finally confirmed a position on Neatherd Moor, at least we now know where we stand.

“We remain committed, as we have been throughout, to working with Dereham Town Council as a key partner on how we can together improve local spaces for residents.”

The town council spokesman added: “The door for the deal is still open if the money on offer was ever commensurate with the costs and the risks associated with the taking over the management responsibilities from Breckland Council.”