We need your support to buy the Davis Kickabout green space at auction to preserve it from development.
Where is the Davis Kickabout Area?
The Davis Kickabout Area is in Badger Farm, Winchester. It lies below Lark Hill Rise and runs down to the playground.
What is the Davis Kickabout Area?
Badger Farm was built on the outskirts of Winchester in the 1980s. Unlike many other developments it has green spaces dotted throughout. The Davis Kickabout area is used for many different activities, from picnics to frisbee, and definitely has the best view! It sits at the top of a hill that sweeps down and on to Whiteshute Ridge linking the wildlife corridor from Hursley into our city. With pathways from different parts of the estate people can walk and enjoy the green space, meet friends and neighbours, and just talk or sit on the bench and admire the view over to St Catherine’s Hill.
Our children have learnt to ride bikes there, play, sledge or just run and be kids. Dogwalkers cross back and forth as do joggers, cyclists, and the rest of us walking whether to our local supermarket, into town, out to the Ridge, home or to friends. In quieter moments, our wildlife comes out – sparrows, woodpeckers, wagtails, doves, hedgehogs, shrews, dormice, slow worms, and the occasional deer wandering over from the downs. Blackberries and sloes grow in the hedges and provide food for the wildlife and foragers. To increase the plant diversity there has recently been a bulb planting effort on part of the field. With Covid, this area has become that bit more vital to us all.
Why is it up for sale now?
As part of the conditions of the original development the builders were required to retain these as open spaces to be maintained by Winchester City Council as it has been. Unfortunately, the developer is in administration and so all their assets are being sold. The Kickabout is due to go to auction on March 18th, which failing 22nd April (date to be confirmed). An estimate has been put on it of £5000.00, but developers pay a premium for any land they hope to build on in Winchester and this may push the price up despite possible title restrictions. Bluntly, we need your money to save it.
Who are we?
We are Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery Residents’ Community Association. We are a Charity and are run by and for the benefit of the those who live here. We are based in Badger Farm Community Centre and have been out and about spreading the word in person (socially distanced, of course) and via social media to as many as possible. We are the residents; it is our community, and we have the drive to see this through to the end.
What are we doing?
We are exploring every avenue, working closely with the City and Parish Councils to ensure Badger Farm retains the land in perpetuity for the residents.
Together with the Parish Council and with support of local residents an application for village green status has now been made to Hampshire County Council. This is a long process and will not be decided before the auction and is uncertain of success.
We are working with the City Council to investigate whether the original title deeds for the area would provide any protection and a note of this investigation has been placed on Land Registry title which may deter some developers. Again, there is no certainty this would be ultimately effective.
We approached the auctioneers to try and purchase prior to auction, but they currently insist it go to auction.
We are also in the process of applying for community asset status, although this again will not be determined until after the auction.
So, We need Your Help:
We need to raise as much money as possible before the auction to enable us to compete with commercial bidders. Several residents have already approached us pledging their financial contributions. An experienced bidder will act as our agent at the auction. If successful, the title to the land will be held for the benefit of all in the community in perpetuity.
What will we do with any funds left over?
As we have no certainty as to the final price, we intend to return any balance left over to the donors (we can not return funds to anonymous donors) on a basis proportional to the total price, fees and expenses. This would be the same in the event we are unsuccessful at the auction. Funds donated anonymously will be retained for the benefit of the community.