Century-long agreement over Dereham green space to end

A path on the Neatherd Moor

Management of Neatherd Moor will be transferred from Breckland District Council to Dereham Town Council. - Credit: Noah Vickers

The management of a popular open space in Dereham will be transferred from one council to another, ending a 111-year-long agreement branded “not fit for the 21st century”. 

At a Thursday meeting of Breckland District Council (BDC), councillors voted to release funds to enable the transfer of management responsibilities of Neatherd Moor to Dereham Town Council (DTC).

The moor has up until now been owned by DTC but managed by BDC - the result of a 1910 agreement which BDC cabinet member Paul Hewett said “isn’t fit for the 21st century” and had resulted in “a number of issues actually for decades, in terms of who does what.” 

Breckland councillor Paul Hewett.
Photo: Breckland Council

Conservative cabinet member Paul Hewett said the mixed responsibilities for the moor had caused "a number of issues". - Credit: Archant Ltd.

To enable the transfer, BDC will give DTC £150,000 to maintain the 47-acre common into the future.

Independent councillor Roger Atterwill asked whether the track running along the south of the Moor from Crown Road, which he said had been a “big bone of contention”, would be included in the transfer.

Breckland councillor and Swanton Morley Parish Council chairman, Roger Atterwill, is concerned about

Roger Atterwill asked whether the road running along the south of the moor would be included in the transfer. - Credit: Archant

Mr Hewett said the road is “quite unique”, and is the responsibility of multiple authorities.

He added there was no reference in the 1910 agreement to the upkeep of the road.

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