A much loved open space at Whitehall Road in Blackburn, has been awarded Asset of Community Value (ACV) status by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council following a campaign by the Whitehall Road Neighbourhood Group. The benefit of achieving ACV listing is that this becomes a material planning consideration, a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or an appeal against a planning decision. The ACV listing therefore gives additional protection to the land from development.
We provided advice to our members Victoria and Tony Harris on the group’s application to the council for ACV status. This was in response to the consultation to develop the local plan and identify and protect green space for the benefit of the community. The society’s case officer, Nicola Hodgson, recommended that the group prepare the ACV bid in addition to, and in support of, a Local Green Space designation application for which the group continues to gather evidence of community use (Covid-19 restrictions permitting) to strengthen its case.
The successful application made reference to both the National Planning Policy framework criteria and the community support that the group had obtained, along with evidence of regular and varied use of the green space by nearby residents. Victoria Harris wrote to the society to say: ‘Thank you very much for the advice that you gave. I am certain that, without the Local Green Space and ACV applications, the council would have by now progressed with its plans to dispose of the land for housing.’
We have created a number of fact sheets on our website which you may find useful when researching and preparing a similar application to protect open and green space in your neighbourhood. The decision letter that relates to the Whitehall Road determination can be read here and the approach taken may well be useful for other applications under similar circumstances.
Find a list of fact sheets on various topics about the protection of open spaces here.