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Historic park saved by lease plan

Nonsuch Park
The plan secures the future of Nonsuch Park for 125 years

Plans for historic parkland on the Surrey/London border to be managed by two councils have been approved.

The move has ended uncertainty over the future of Nonsuch Park and the Mansion House, amid concern the land could have been sold off for luxury flats.

The landmark will now be leased to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and the London Borough of Sutton for 125 years.

The decision was agreed at a meeting of Surrey County Council's executive committee earlier this week.

It followed a campaign by the Stoneleigh and Auriol Residents' Association (SARA), which presented petitions of more than 4,000 signatories at the meeting.

Compensation payment

Campaigners said the lease would preserve the day-to-day management and operational control of the park and house in the hands of the "widely trusted and independent" Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee (JMC), comprised of representatives from both boroughs.

Bill Slaughter, chairman of SARA, said the executive had also agreed a one-off compensation payment of 125,000 to the JMC.

He said it would reimburse losses sustained by JMC following the county council's "sudden removal of the JMC, in December 2006, from the day-to-day management of the park and house".

The site, which lies between Cheam and Ewell, and began its life when Henry VIII chose the location for a new palace in the 16th Century, will be handed over from Surrey County Council.

Lease plan for 16th Century park
24 Mar 08 |  England

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