TOWN councillors have rejected an offer to take over leisure facilities on a long term lease.

Members of Barnard Castle Town Council said they would only accept the children’s play area and mini-golf course on Scar Top if they were granted the freehold to the land.

The facilities were developed as part of a larger £400,000 landscape project adjacent to the historic castle.

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Durham County Council offered to lease the area for 30 years, with the town council paying a £1 peppercorn rent.

Town councillors were told an earlier deal for the freehold transfer of the land from the county authority had fallen through due to an unforeseen issue related to the funding of the play area and golf course.

Members agreed that unless the county council was prepared to transfer the freehold for the play area and golf course, they did not wish to discuss the matter further.