Akeman Grove – Land adjacent to the Memorial Hall
In March 2019 the land adjacent to the Memorial Hall land, approx. 3.5 acres, was put on the market by the owner Shirley Holland at an asking price of £275,000. At a meeting in the Memorial Hall on Saturday 30th March, it was agreed by the ALMH Trustees along with the local residents, that an attempt would be made to purchase the land on behalf of the village of Asthall Leigh and the Memorial Hall. Over the following week, donations were sought from the residents of the village, the Parish and supporters of the Memorial Hall.
An amazing sum of £160,000 was raised but this wasn’t going to cover the whole cost of the purchase, and so overtures were made to the local farmer Richard Murray whose land backs on to the land in question. He and his son Alex agreed to purchase just over half the land with two separate contracts/purchases.
The Vendor set a deadline for sealed bids and accepted ours and the Murrays of £305.000, in the late Spring of 2019.
The Trustees and Alex Murray have met several times to thrash out the details of the purchase and there was a little give and take on both sides, eventually reaching an agreement. Subject to seeing a contract, in the Summer of 2019 we were in a position to proceed approximately. However, no communication from the Vendor’s solicitors was received and much time passed…
On 24th July, The ALMH Chairman received an email from the Vendor stating that she would like the Trustees to purchase their part of the land only by the end of the next month. The email also intimated that the Vendor had made the wrong decision in accepting the bids from the Trustees and the Murray family. The Trustees refused to agree to this and reminded the Vendor that no contracts have been sent to our solicitors or the Murrays and the delay was not at our end, but hers.
Finally, after a further two months of negotiating, meetings, emails and phone calls, the Vendor finally changed her Solicitor and things started to move forward, all be it slowly. The new Solicitor then issued new contracts and a separate one for the overage part should planning permission be granted on the land.
At last, on October 23rd we exchanged contracts and completed the sale two days later and the Asthall Leigh Memorial Hall became the proud owner of two fields in the heart of the village.
VIEW ORIGINAL LAND AGENT PDF – Akeman Grove Ast Leigh 100319 v4
The Working Party
Saturday 7th December
Hope everyone is glowing from such a great day in the fields. Thanks so
much for turning up and getting stuck in. We achieved far more than I
could have imagined and it was such a great thing to see everyone pulling together.
A few highlights were:
- Vaughan and Julie pulling out trees and bushes like they were
- Hugo trimming his brambles by the hall like he was fine tuning his Chelsea entry.
- Euan and Wendy loading the trailer like they were jazz dancing in
- Mike won the award for the highest trim Carole was my winner for a manicured strim.
- Zippy, Toe and Sue W-D built the fire from all around the plot
Nick Powell was pulling up rocks and stones from the unlikeliest of
- Justin was digging like he was trying to get back to live in Australia
Geraldine was serving refreshments and keeping me in check [as
- And John and Viv strimmed, lugged, loaded and lit with petrol and
were there to see the cinders burn down with a small amount of input and help from Martin and me.
I really hope I haven’t left anyone out!
And we hosted a few onlookers who came along to see the majesty.
What a great day that was. We have snugged the place down for the winter and we can finally relax…