Archive for March 2015

New book to celebrate our commons

We have published a new book, Common Land, to celebrate the ancient common land of England and Wales. It is written by our chairman Graham Bathe. Says Graham: ‘Most of us are familiar with commons. We may have played on them when young and visit them with our own children. Commons are woven into our…

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Outsized development in Chiltern valley

We have objected to a further attempt to redevelop Valentine Farm in the Hambleden Valley. The site is near Skirmett, in the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Buckinghamshire. The applicants, Mr and Mrs Neil Woodford, want to build a two-storey, five-bedroom ‘Arts and Crafts’-style house, with garage store, detached leisure…

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Unfair land swap on Cornish common

We have objected to plans to swap common land at Pendarves Woods Common, a mile south-west of Camborne in Cornwall. Earlier this year Mr Robert Weedon applied to the Secretary of State for Environment for retrospective consent for works on common land: part of a sand-school, parking areas and track, fuel pumps and tank, and…

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We object to abuse of St John’s Lye common, Woking

We have responded angrily to Woking Borough Council’s consultation about car-parking on St John’s Lye Common, south-west Woking, Surrey. Local residents had complained about the inadequate parking after the opening of the new St John’s memorial hall and the council proposed to provide car-parking spaces on the common. The options are for the extension onto…

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Law denied

While researching our 150-year history, I have been struck repeatedly by the number of times we have taken or backed court action.  So writes our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, in her Opinion in the latest edition of our magazine Open Space. Indeed, had we not gone to the courts to assert the rights of commoners and to…

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We welcome proposed commons council for Bodmin Moor

The society is backing a plan to create a commons council for Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. This would be the second commons council created under the Commons Act 2006—the first was established for the Brendon Hills in Devon in April 2014. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is consulting on whether…

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We say ‘no’ to the Lowthers

The society has once again objected to renewed plans by the Lowther Estate to develop White Moss Common next to the A591 between Rydal Water and Grasmere in the Lake District National Park. Last year the estate applied for a visitor centre and hierarchy of routes at the existing car-park but the Lake District National…

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Proposed ‘environmental trust’ is irrelevant

The announcement by the Circuit of Wales developers that they intend to set up an ecological trust to fund environmental improvements around the development site at Ebbw Vale is irrelevant. The society is to appear at the public inquiry on Thursday [19 March] in opposition to the developers’ proposals for exchange of common land. The…

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