Essex County Council to transfer Clarance House Walled Garden and Schoolroom to Thaxted Parish Council

An historic green asset in Thaxted town centre has been transferred to the parish council.

Essex County Council (ECC) confirmed this week it has accepted a request from Thaxted Parish Council for the freehold transfer of Clarance House Walled Garden and Schoolroom under the Community Asset Transfer scheme.

The scheme is an established mechanism which enables communities to own and manage publicly owned land and buildings, for the benefit of the community.

Parish councillor John Freeman said: “The parish council is thrilled that ECC has agreed to transfer this walled conservation garden. The garden is a historic green asset in the centre of the town and we expect the community to benefit through improved access to the garden and local management.”

The transfer is expected to provide multiple benefits to the area including improved skills and engagement locally, alongside the establishment of a centre for the community which is financially sustainable.

Thaxted Parish Council has already begun to work with the primary school and pre-school, who use the garden as an educational resource, and has been encouraged by the interest shown by groups who are keen on making use of the venue.

ECC’s cabinet member for Transformation and Corporate Services, Cllr Derrick Louis, said: “The parish council has leased the half acre of grounds and the schoolroom since September 2012, during which time it has transformed the space with the help of a team of volunteers.

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“I am delighted by the work they have achieved in establishing the garden as a community space and feel sure that the facility will continue to flourish under the community’s ownership.”

Clarance House Conservation Garden is already available for hire to commercial users and for educational purposes. Contact parish clerk Julie Abel on 01371 831952 for details.