The Town of Needham has announced that it will ask Town Meeting members this October to authorize the purchase of 34.3 acres of open space in a partnership that would give the community unprecedented access to the Charles River, walking trails, and recreational opportunities for generations to come. This land, a portion of the Castle Farm Property owned by the Foster Estate, would cost the Town $2.5 million. The Town’s plan includes the purchase of two parcels of land totaling 6.3 acres along Charles River Street and an additional 28 acres of meadowland along the Charles River. Each of these parcels directly abuts the existing Ridge Hill Reservation which was acquired by the Town from the Fosters in 1981. The acquired land would allow for maintenance of the existing trail network (a portion of which travels across the to be acquired parcels along Charles River Street), preserve the scenic road view for residents and passersby, and significantly expand the Town’s waterfront access to the Charles River.
Town leaders are working in collaboration with Northland Residential on the purchase of the entirety of the 64.16 acre-Castle Farm, a partnership critical to preserving 34 acres from development. Northland has proposed building a residential development on an approximately 14-acre parcel and setting aside an additional 14 acres to serve as an open space buffer/set back area from Whitman Road. In total, the envisioned partnership is projected to keep an estimated 48 acres, or 75 percent of the current property as open space, and prevents the kind of clear cutting of trees that could take place if the land was sold to a private developer for the construction of large, single-family homes on conventional lots.
More information here: https://www.needhamma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/42048/Foster-Release-Final-09092022?bidId=
View the concept plan here: https://www.needhamma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/42049/Castle-Farm_Concept-Plan-090822?bidId=