Abington Scout Camp Site - October 2013

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Little Abington Parish Council is keen to keep the former Scout camp site as an area for outdoor education and adventure for children and young people, including the local scouts. To this end, it asked South Cambridgeshire District Council to list it as an ‘Asset of Community Value’. This was accepted, giving us a 6-month moratorium during which only bids from community interest groups can be accepted. This period has given us the time to explore many options and lasts until 9th November 2013.
Since May, we have been exploring various possible ways of achieving this. The guide price for the site is high, as there is planning permission for 3 bungalows, although most of the site is outside the village ‘framework’ and therefore not available for development. Ideally we did not wish to see any such development as we had always felt that both the housing and the camp site would be compromised. We explained this during the planning consultation process.
With a high price on the site, we felt that a straight purchase was beyond the means of the parish council. Furthermore, it was essential to develop a plan that would see increased usage – we were keen that this was educational. We looked around for partners who might wish to use it in this way and realised that the concept of ‘Forest Schools’ might be an ideal match. This should be compatible with its continued use in evenings, weekends and school holidays by scout and similar organisations.
We were delighted to find that the Cambridge International School (CIS), which is located in the village, shares our vision and already has staff experienced in Forest Schools. We have therefore decided to work in partnership with CIS and support their bid. We intend to work with them to put in place further safeguards to keep the site as an educational open space.

Last updated on 03 October 2013.