Communities hoping for village greens hit hard by new government measures

Lake 104, where Fairford residents once applied for the land to become a village green

Lake 104, where Fairford residents once applied for the land to become a village green

First published in News Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

COMMUNITIES hoping to have open spaces declared village greens in a bid to stave off unwanted development have been hit hard by new Government legislation.

At the end of January parliamentary committees were asked to agree a set of measures that will make it even harder for public areas to be classified as village greens.

Previously communities could apply for the special status if they could prove the land had been used by locals for 20 years without being stopped or having to ask permission. Once registered as a village green, the land is protected from development.

Last April the Government banned the registration of greens in England on land where a ‘trigger event’ had occurred such as a planning application being made on the site or on land identified for potential development. These new measures prevented many spaces becoming greens.

Now the Government wants to extend that list of trigger events excluding applications to include land which is subject to a draft local development order, a draft neighbourhood development order or where planning permission has been requested.

The Open Spaces Society is leading a campaign to head off this most recent threat.

Nicola Hodgson of the OSS said the Government’s obsession with development was affecting the public’s enjoyment of open spaces.

“We deplore the governments renewed attack on our green spaces,” she said.

“The current trigger events have only been in place for nine months which is not long enough to assess the effect they are having, both on development and on local people.

“It is premature to bring in new measures with no evidence of the need to do so.”

In 2008 residents in Fairford applied for the land around Lake 104, close to Lechlade, to become a village green but the application was later refused at an inquiry the following year.

“Making it even harder to apply is completely unnecessary because it was practically impossible to before,” said Mark Wardle who was involved in the application.

“This just removes another obstacle for developers. Applying is such a long and very time consuming process. It’s expensive and requires a large amount of effort, evidence and commitment and this was before the new changes were made.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:25am Fri 14 Feb 14

pbaillie says...

Here we go again, yet another futile campaign to prevent or slow down development on open space and countryside.
People have to get real, and start addressing the underlying issue which is the population explosion.
Once we have the people, they have to have houses, shops, schools, roads, hospitals etc etc.
You cannot logically be happy with the right of people to have as large families as they want, and offer unlimited subsidies to do so, and then turn round and argue against the directly consequential development.
We should all be joining the "Population Matters" charity to campaign for smaller families and then the development pressure on open countryside would naturally fall without any further campaigning.
Here we go again, yet another futile campaign to prevent or slow down development on open space and countryside. People have to get real, and start addressing the underlying issue which is the population explosion. Once we have the people, they have to have houses, shops, schools, roads, hospitals etc etc. You cannot logically be happy with the right of people to have as large families as they want, and offer unlimited subsidies to do so, and then turn round and argue against the directly consequential development. We should all be joining the "Population Matters" charity to campaign for smaller families and then the development pressure on open countryside would naturally fall without any further campaigning. pbaillie
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree