Discussions are set to begin on a plan for Wellington town council taking public ownership of the Basins following a decision to undertake repairs to the wooden fencing on either side of the causeway that leads to both the Basins and the allotments.
Councillors heard from the town clerk that planned repairs to burnt and broken fencing would cost around £2,300 plus VAT. Cllr James Hunt suggested that inquiries be made to see if the landowners concerned would restore the fencing.
However, having heard from the clerk that the landowners involved – Sheikh Holdings, who also have Tonedale Mill – had previously been unresponsive, there was a feeling that the situation could not be left to deteriorate.
“It would be horrific if someone fell into the water because of poor fencing,” said Cllr Janet Lloyd. Discussion turned to the long-term future of this green area, created by Fox Bros around 200 years ago to provide controlled water power for the mill.
“I’d like to sort out the future of the Basins and find a way to transfer them to public ownership,” said Cllr Andrew Govier. “The Basins are a real asset to the town and this episode could be a lever for us to gain control of them. Spending money on repairs could be a catalyst.” The meeting agreed to seek permission for repairs and begin discussions on a possible transfer to public ownership.