We are raising funds to repay the SOS committee members who personally paid the costs awarded as a result of the public inquiry into the application to build in the grounds of the ancient St Osyth Priory.
SOS was formed following the public meeting in the village hall on 17th March 2010 held to discuss the proposals for large scale housing on Priory land. Its mission statement appears in the monthly report in the St Osyth News and is essentially to preserve village life, particularly by opposing significant building proposals within the village.
Both SOS and the Parish Council represented the local community at the public inquiry held in January 2015 into the refusal of Tendring District Council to approve the plans submitted by the Sargeant family, owners of the Priory. We engaged the services of a professional advocate at a cost of approximately £9,000 which was paid for from fundraising activities and donations.
The outcome of the public inquiry was that the refusal for planning permission was upheld. However, SOS along with the Parish Council, had costs awarded against us. The Sargeant family claimed costs of over £120,000 against SOS in documents served on Bev Lynn, as chairman of SOS, on 30th December 2015 demanding payment within 21 days or court proceedings to recover this amount (plus interest at 8%) would ensue.
Following a highly stressful two year legal battle the punitive cost claim was finally reduced to £56,303 payable immediately to prevent further costs and interest accruing. Despite fundraising events and donations received since then, the elected committee members are left paying £47,000 from their own personal savings.
SOS is still working hard to raise the funds to recoup this amount but is an uphill struggle and we are seeking further support from the community. We are grateful to all who have already donated and those who support us by attending our various fundraising events.
There are several ways in which people are able to donate:
- By cheques made out to ‘Save our St Osyth’ and left with/sent to the treasurer at No 1 The Bury, CO16 8NY.
- Direct debit to the SOS bank account: Sort Code: 20-21-73, Account No: 63138690, Account Name: Save our St Osyth.
- Via this link to the justgiving page. ttps://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/saveourstosythsos.
There are further threats to our village in the offing and we will remain vigilant and active but we need to clear this existing debt if possible.
Thank you for reading this. Please help if you can. Please note that details of donations remain confidential to the treasurer. The audited accounts are presented at our AGM in February each year.