History of the site
It is understood that the site now known as Jubilee Fields was in military ownership as far back as the 1800's and was used as a brickyard during the construction of the nearby Weedon Ordnance Depot prior to the canal and railway being constructed. A review of documented evidence in the form of historic maps shows that Jubilee Fields was partly used as allotment gardens between 1927- 1952.
In 1978 the site was purchased from the Ministry of Defence for £4000.00 and ownership was transferred Daventry District Council and subsequently to Weedon Bec Parish Council. The transfer deed is presented at Appendix A in the Evidence Report - link below
We understand from a letter dated 16th March 2015, sent to Weedon Bec Parish Council by Mike Jephcott of Daventry District Council, that due to the short period of time that the land was in the ownership of DDC, Daventry District Council do not consider to have inherited legal title and that the land essentially passed from the MOD to Weedon Bec Parish Council. This letter is presented at Appendix B in the Evidence Report - link below
Images available are also available at
http://www.cambridgeairphotos.com/ that show the current outline of The Mound in 1964.
The land has been in the ownership of Weedon Bec Parish Council since 1978 and has been used for recreation purposes at all times.
The site is a raised mound of earth situated to the north eastern corner of the recreation ground known as Jubilee Fields, Weedon Bec. This raised mound of earth is hereinafter referred to as 'The Mound'. Access to The Mound is currently restricted by Heras fencing but the site was formally used as a children's play area and as a means of access to a pedestrian gate to the north onto Bridge Street.
The boundary to the north east is defined by a retaining wall supporting a railway embankment upon which the West Coast Mainline runs. The boundary to the North West is defined by an intermittent hedge and low fence. Boundaries to the south were previously undefined but Heras fencing has now been erected to restrict public access.
The remaining areas of Jubilee Fields continue to be used for recreation and include a football pitch. The Mound, and the wider recreation ground known as Jubilee Fields, has been subject to soil testing on three occasions that Weedon Bec Parish Council are aware of. The most recent of these tests was conducted in 2015 and identified contaminants above safe levels, most notably asbestos.
Weedon Bec Parish Council are now required to remediate the land to render it safe for public access and have elected to remove the contaminated land in its entirety.
A contractor has been selected, following a tender process, for the removal of The Mound at a cost of £214,986.00. This is clearly a significant financial burden currently borne by Weedon Bec Parish Council and we have taken steps to identify the source of the contamination, to better understand the basis of this liability.