A parish leader has hit back at claims that he knew a car park would be sold off after being offered the chance to take it over for free.
Rainworth Parish Council have now been told they must fork out £11,000 to buy the site on Southwell Road East if they want to keep it as a car park.
But chairman Mark Buttery insists Nottinghamshire County Council said nothing about selling the car park when they were offered it for free last March.
The parish council initially turned the offer down insisting that work was needed on the car park before they would consider taking it over.
It was then put up for auction in December without warning, shocking councillors, residents and local shopkeepers who all insist it needs to remain as a car park.
The car park is the only one of its kind in the village, and local shopkeepers felt it could harm their business if it was closed.
District and Rainworth parish councillor, Linda Tift, recently told Chad that the free offer was a ‘lost opportunity’ and said the parish council should have known it was going to be sold.
Coun Buttery said: “When it first came to us there was
no mention it would be sold off.
“We turned it down because the lighting had not been repaired in at least two years and there was a problem with vermin down there.
“It shocked everybody when it was put up for auction, we honestly did not know.
“There was no official word and nothing was put in writing.
“It’s alright getting stuff by word of mouth, but it needs to be in writing.
“It’s crazy. In my view, Nottinghamshire County Council should have come to us.”
Coun Buttery says that Nottinghamshire County Council has agreed that Rainworth Parish Council can pay the cash over a five-year period, but says raising council tax is not an option.
A local businessman has offered to donate £2,000 and others in the village are looking at other ways to raise the rest.
But Coun Buttery said: “In my mind, we are not going to raise the money by increasing the precept. I’m still hoping Nottinghamshire County Council will admit they have done wrong, then again I’m hoping for a hot summer!”