STEETON-with-Eastburn parish councillors are hopeful of securing official ownership of the Keighley Road recreation ground.

The parish council’s solicitors have for several months been in talks with the Land Registry in order to prove the council has owned the land since at least the year 1920.

Success will allow the parish council to go ahead with improvements to the drainage of the grassed area, which it has already secured funding for.

At a recent meeting of Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council, members heard that following initial discussions the Land Registry would not accept the council as legal owners of the site.

The council followed-up with statutory declarations signed by chairman David Mullen and two other councillors, and had the land valued at the request of the Land Registry.

Cllr Mullen this week told the Keighley News: “The matter is progressing. We’re in advanced discussions and things are looking positive.”

The parish council recently bought a new Christmas tree for the village, to replace the current one on .... , and planted it in a highly-visible place alongside the main road, on Chapel Road next to Steeton Methodist Church.

The council subsequently placed wooden stakes around the Christmas tree to stop it being accidentally damaged by Bradford Council workers using grass mowers at the site.

In the long term the parish council plans to provide a permanent fence, and possibly stones around the base.

The parish council is currently negotiating to take over permanent responsibility for the grassed area from Bradford Council.

The councillors have almost completed negotiations to take over another grassed area in the village, Corn Mill Green off Skipton Road and Mill Lane near the transport cafe.

Bradford Council has offered a 99-year lease for Corn Mill Green, at a peppercorn rent, extending the original proposal it made of 50 years.

Cllr Mullen said: “This offer from Bradford is very acceptable to us. It will protect the land for a century.”