A group which successfully campaigned to save a beauty spot in bury St Edmunds from development has withdrawn its bid to purchase the land.
The Bury Water Meadows Group is no longer seeking funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to buy the Leg of Mutton site, off Rougham Road.
It is now unfeasible for the group to purchase the site, as its HLF bid cannot match the site’s value.
Water Meadows Group chairman Andrew Hinchley said: “We reluctantly took the decision to withdraw only a few weeks ago.
“Any campaign to purchase the land at a development value would be a very substantial challenge compared with our HLF bid.”
Leg of Mutton is designated for informal receation only in the Vision 2031 local plan following a campaign by the group to preserve it for future generations.
Mr Hinchley said: “We are still in the process of determining where we can go on this, but it is over 30 years since the town first campaigned against development of Leg of Mutton and we need to take a long-term view.”
The group has substantially widened its remit on working to support Bury’s green spaces, especially those around the Rivers Lark and Linnet, including a new focus on Ram Meadow.
The group is considering whether to take a more active role in the management and maintenance of local rivers, something which recent legislation encourages community groups to do.
Next week its committee will take a decision on whether to commit to such a role by applying to be part of the newly formed Cambridge Ouse ‘catchment’ group, which is being established by the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and the Rivers Trust.
They will be including the Rivers Lark and Linnet in their initiatives.