Archive for October 2019

Bullies beware!

Through our 154-year history, the Open Spaces Society has developed a proud record of legal action. We fought the enclosures, and defended commoners’ rights; we have tested the law in the courts many times. We have suffered losses, but we also have landmark victories to our name. One such victory was our challenge to Dorset…

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We fight development on Hampshire common

We have objected to an application from Mr Christopher Ball to build three houses and an access road on Odiham Common in Hampshire. The land, at Potbridge, is registered common land. Any development on common land requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in addition to any planning…

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The meaning of ‘curtilage’

On 12 June this year, inspector Alan Beckett granted an application to deregister around 46 hectares of Blackbushe aerodrome at Yateley Common.  The application, made by Blackbushe Airport Ltd (BAL), was made under paragraph 6 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006, on the basis that the land was ‘covered by a building or…

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Leigh Common saved from development

Through court action the society has saved part of Leigh Common from developers. Leigh Common is a nine-hectare woodland and grassland nature reserve in Colehill, near Wimborne—the first common land in Dorset to be registered in 1967 and given permanent protection.  In 2016 developers Gleeson Developments Ltd applied to Dorset County Council (now Dorset Council)…

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Len Clark, 1916 – 2019

Northern downfall of Black Mountain from Waun Lefrith

Our vice-president Len Clark has died aged 103. Len was a pillar of strength to, and wise critic of, numerous organisations: the Youth Hostels Association (YHA), National Trust, Campaign for National Parks and ourselves. In 1978 he became our commons liaison officer, a roving researcher who travelled England and Wales on his Honda 50 motorbike…

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Edgar Powell, 1936 – 2019

Our vice-president Edgar Powell has died aged 83. Edgar was our local correspondent for parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire for 24 years (1992-2016), a trustee (1995-2003) and vice-chairman (2002-3). It is impossible to quantify all he did for the society and our members. Edgar was born in Colwall, Herefordshire but spent most of his life…

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We help to save part of Hertfordshire common

Bovingdon Common Hertfordshire

We are delighted that we have helped to save part of a Hertfordshire common. The land is a wide roadside verge of High Street, in the village of Bovingdon, four miles south-west of Hemel Hempstead. Dacorum Borough Council wanted to use 140 square metres of the common for six, surfaced, car-parking bays, near the junction…

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We save Herefordshire path from diversion

OSS Footpath to west of Hope-under-Dinmore footpath HD4

Our local correspondent Peter Newman has saved a path at Hope-under-Dinmore, four miles south of Leominster in Herefordshire.  Network Rail and Herefordshire Council wanted to replace a footpath, HD4, which crosses the Shrewsbury to Hereford railway line at grade, with a route to the north which passes under the railway and is used by vehicles.…

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Helipad on Northumberland common

OSS Allendale common Helipad October 2018

We have objected to a planning application from the East Allenheads Estate which would damage part of Allendale Common in Northumberland.  The application is for a helicopter-landing area with concrete hard-standing. The applicant claims that this is a retrospective application to re-surface an existing helicopter landing, but the Open Spaces Society and other objectors argue…

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