HOLD UP: The transfer of Bede Kirk green has still not been completed
HOLD UP: The transfer of Bede Kirk green has still not been completed

THE future of a green space in Barnard Castle remains in limbo more than a year after Durham Police pledged to gift it to the town.

Residents, backed by the town council, successfully campaigned to save the land, outside the former police station at Bede Kirk, from being redeveloped for housing.

Despite voicing disappointment at the decision, former Chief Constable Mike Barton and Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) Ron Hogg agreed to transfer the management of Bede Kirk Green from the police to the town council.

More than a year later, that transfer has yet to take place.

Mr Hogg had wanted to sell both the land and the former police station to a developer who planned to build 22 houses for the older generation.

Jon Carlin, head of policy and communications for the PCVC, said: “The force have been in discussions for some time with Barnard Castle Town Council about transferring the village green, and are currently waiting for a response.”

He said the sale of the ex-police station was still going ahead.

“The force are working with a buyer for the police station and are expecting the sale to be concluded soon.

“We can’t say who the buyer is, or what the site will be used for, because of commercial sensitivities.”

Michael King, clerk to the town council, was unavailable for comment as the Mercury went to press. However, at a resources committee meeting in June, he told town councillors a draft transfer agreement had been submitted by the PCVC.

However, the meeting was told that although the document did contain a draft plan of the site, clarification was needed to confirm the exact boundary in relation to the retaining wall and the status of the trees on site.

Members of the resources committee also wanted confirmation of a verbal offer from Mr Hogg that included covering the town council’s legal costs to not “disadvantage council tax payers in Barnard Castle”.