RALLY: Local residents at the Suffolk Park Rally.
RALLY: Local residents at the Suffolk Park Rally. Deb Milgate

Village green preserved after residents rally

FOLLOWING last week's rally by Suffolk Park residents to stop the sale of their village green in Beech Dr, Byron Shire Council has confirmed the land should be secured for community uses.

But the mayor stopped short of promising council would buy the land out of Section 94 funds.

Instead he expects the land to be gifted to the community by the state government.

Organisers of last week's protest said more than 700 locals had turned up at the rally with a further 2500 signing a petition to stop the NSW Education department selling the land.

The park is home to the Suffolk Park Football Club and it was feared the prime block would be bought by developers.

Mayor Simon Richardson said the site has been utilised (under lease) for essential sport and recreation activities by the Suffolk Park community for more than 10 years and the space had become integral to the long term health and well-being of local families.

"Given that the Department of Education no longer requires this land it should now be gifted to the council so that these activities may continue into the future," he said.

Cr Richardson noted the council did have some funding available from Section 94 developer contribution Suffolk Park Open Space reserves.

"Suffolk Park has little scope for future development so developer contributions are scarce," he said.

Once the current funding pool is gone, it's gone."

If Council is successful in obtaining ownership, Cr Richardson said the land would be designated community land and retained in perpetuity for community use with a plan of management developed to determine the preferred uses of the site.

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