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Cheadle play area lease to be extended - after years of being overlooked

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: July 21, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A LEASE on a children's play area in Cheadle is to be renewed - years after the expiration of the present agreement had gone unnoticed by two councils.

Cheadle Town Council had leased Hammersley Hayes Road play area since 1997, however the lease ended in 2004.

In a report to members of Cheadle Town Council , clerk Helen Hunter, said she had recently obtained a copy of the lease for the play area.

She added: "The lease commenced on May 9 1997 and was subject to a seven year term. The termination date was May 8 2004.

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"It is apparent that the expiration of the lease went unnoticed by both Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) and Cheadle Town Council. Cheadle Town Council has been paying rent in the sum of £100 per annum for the lease, the sum never being reviewed. Despite the lease expiring, and subject to prior SMDC approval, the district council has recommended a possible renewal of the lease for a further seven years under similar terms with a proposal that the rent be increased to £140 per annum and a maximum of £150 legal admin fees.

"I understand that the site is currently being used by the local children in the area to play football.

"At present, no play equipment has been erected on the site."

The current terms of the lease specify that Cheadle Town Council will be responsible for the provision of good access to the site, maintenance of all gates, stiles, hedges, drains and ditches on the site and also for the erection and subsequent maintenance of boundary walls.

Ms Hunter informed councillors that the site was currently insured within the town council's insurance policy, in accordance with the lease, which expires in May 2016 and also included within the Service Level Agreement for grounds maintenance, which expires in March 2018.

Councillor Ron Locker said: "The area is still well used and I think we owe it to the people of the area to renew it if the rent is reasonable."

Councillor Ian Whitehouse said that during the summer months youth workers take youngsters up to the area. It is well used and up to 90 children have been taken to the area by workers in two groups."

Councillor voted to inform the district council that they wished to take on the lease for a further seven years under the condition and fees proposed.

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