Latest News

Joint statement on Permitted Development Rights: England

January 21, 2021

We, the undersigned, express our deep concern about the latest proposals for the expansion of Permitted Development Rights in England. These proposals[1]  will lower housing standards and accessible natural green infrastructure provision, extinguish local democracy, and end public participation. Communities and their local councils have simply lost control of many of the forms of development…

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Path at Miskin, near Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf

Blocked path? How to use section 130A to help

December 3, 2020

Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC local correspondent Jay Kynch helped out a cyclist friend Stephen Lindsay with advice on removing an obstruction in Miskin, near Llantrisant. The blocking of the Miskin path had caused a nuisance for months. Stephen Lindsay, cyclist and blogger, tells his tale. The footpath, Llantrisant 360, that runs past Miskin cricket ground…

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Remembering two friends

October 20, 2020

We have received generous legacies from two members who we belatedly heard had died.  Our general secretary, with much supplementary information from their friends, remembers them with gratitude.   Olive Entwistle, 1925-2017 The champion of Chorleywood Common in Hertfordshire, our life member Olive Entwistle, died in June 2017 aged 92. Olive was born in London…

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Our take on the environment secretary’s speech

July 28, 2020

Last week the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, made an end-of-term speech.  It did not inspire confidence. A few bits of new money were promised.  For instance, he announced £4m for a two-year pilot to bring ‘green prescribing’ to four urban and rural areas that have been hit the…

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A toothless watchdog?

July 28, 2020

Our case officer Nicola Hodgson is keeping a close watch on the Environment Bill.  This was introduced to parliament on 30 January 2020 with second reading on 26 February.  The public-bill committee’s scrutiny was cut short by the covid-19 crisis, and the committee was expected to report to parliament by the end of June, but…

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Extend deadlines to rescue common land and village greens

July 6, 2020

We have urged the government to extend deadlines to enable the public to safeguard common land and town and village greens. This would be in line with the extension of deadlines to allow development to proceed, under the Business and Planning Bill 2019-21. The society has written to the environment minister, Lord Gardiner. We are…

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How to subscribe to our You Tube Channel

June 23, 2020

YouTube is a video sharing channel where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their own and other people’s videos. It works in a similar way to other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter in that respect. You Tube can be accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and via mobile phones. We will…

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Ellen’s decade as the hub of our office

June 23, 2020

We are fortunate that Ellen Froggatt, who was planning to retire in early April, is still with us.  She has generously agreed to carry on as office manager part-time until we can return to the office and appoint a replacement.  Consequently, Ellen celebrated ten years with the society on 7 June. In her time with…

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Vocal for local

June 17, 2020

Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook considers life for the Open Spaces Society during lockdown. As lockdown began, I foolishly thought we would have time to catch up with all those long-deferred jobs.  I was wrong: we have been busier than ever. Developers are not deterred by a pandemic: open spaces remain at risk, perhaps more…

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Hanwell fence The fence after local people had broken through to the canal

Hanwell land-grab

June 16, 2020

Our member Steven Toft describes the fight by Hanwell residents to wrest their open space from land-grabbers In April 2019, residents of Hanwell in Ealing, west London, were dismayed that part of their park had been fenced off. St Margaret’s open space sits by the Grand Union Canal and is part of Brent River Park.…

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