Quick-acting Topsham townsfolk snap up important land

Land for sale at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham. Ref ext 8142-08-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Land for sale at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham. Ref ext 8142-08-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

The residents of Topsham are celebrating after the town’s community association’s bid to buy a key plot of land was successful.

The Topsham Community Association now owns a six-acre site, which adjoins the renowned Goat Walk on the River Exe.

An informal tender was put out by agents Smiths Gore for the land, which consists of a strip of woodland and two fields.

Bidders then put forward sealed offers for the plot, meaning interested parties were unaware of others’ submissions.

A fundraising appeal was launched on February 17 with a deadline of February 25, giving people just eight days to find the money.

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More than 450 donations were received from the people of Topsham as well as fans of town.

A spokesman for the association said: “This land is of inestimable value to the character and setting of Topsham, as the walk around the Goat Walk and Bowling Green Road is one of Topsham’s most precious assets.

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“The generosity of the people of Topsham in responding to the appeal for funds has demonstrated the huge affection they have for this area.

“Ownership of the land by the community will be of immense benefit to the setting of Topsham in many different ways.”

The association decided to bid on the land after more than 250 people attended a public meeting at Matthews Hall and voted in favor.

The crucial decision-making meetinb was organised and publicised in just three days.

Every household in Topsham was leafleted with a flyer about the event.

It took just a week for the Topsham Community Association and Topsham Society to jointly organise the appeal to buy the land for the benefit of the community of Topsham.

The association received more than 200 questionnaire responses, making a variety of suggestions for how the fields might be managed. Further consultation will begin shortly.

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