Latest News

Crystal Palace challenge refused

May 2, 2013

We are dismayed that the challenge by the Crystal Palace Community Association (CPCA) in the Court of Appeal, against the approval of the Crystal Palace Park masterplan for development of the park, has been rejected. Three Lords of Appeal found against the CPCA at a hearing on Tuesday 23 April 2013.  They rejected the submission…

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Two new volunteers for the society

January 2, 2013

We have appointed two new local correspondents: Brian Cowling for Bedford Borough, and Chris Smith for Lewes District in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove City. Brian worked as a rights-of-way officer for Bedfordshire County Council and then Bedford Borough Council when it became a unitary authority.  He enjoys walking, backpacking in the UK, reading,…

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What future for Helredale’s open space?

January 1, 2013

The future of the playing field at Helredale, Whitby, North Yorkshire, is in the balance.  Following a disappointing ruling in the court of appeal in October, Helredale Neighbourhood Council (HNC) is hoping to obtain permission to appeal to the supreme court. Read more about it here.

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Growth and Infrastructure Bill: threat to greens

October 24, 2012

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill clause 13 will make it more difficult, if not downright impossible, to register land as a town or village green once it has been identified for development. The Bill says that a ‘trigger event’—which includes first publication of a planning application or identification of the land for potential development in…

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Much-loved Dorking footpath to be moved

September 6, 2012

A beautiful footpath near Dorking, in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is to be moved. The decision was made by a planning inspector, Mr Michael Aldous, following a public inquiry last July. The Open Spaces Society was represented as an objector by its local member Michèle Kohler. The footpath, number 111, ran…

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Essex rail-crossing saved for walkers, riders and cyclists

September 3, 2012

A planning inspector has ruled that Motts Lane crossing of the railway line at Witham, about 10 miles north-east of Chelmsford in Essex, must remain open. The crossing is a public bridleway for use by walkers, horse-riders and cyclists. Network Rail wanted to close the crossing on alleged grounds of safety and offered to provide…

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Fencing plan rejected on Telscombe Tye Common

August 23, 2012

A public-inquiry inspector has rejected Telscombe Town Council’s application for fencing of parts of Telscombe Tye Common, north of Peacehaven in East Sussex. The inquiry was held in June this year into the council’s application, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, for works on common land.  The objectors included the British Horse Society. …

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Meopham’s ‘model’ path-campaign group

August 18, 2012

‘Meopham and District Footpaths Group is a model for local action groups throughout the country.’  So said our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, at the Meopham Footpath Group’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations today  (Saturday 18 August).  ‘For the last 50 years the group has combined campaigning for its local paths with an excellent walks programme.  The Open…

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We fight greenspace grab in Henley

August 3, 2012

We are objecting to plans by international land-agents Chesterton Commercial (Oxon) Ltd to stop up the public highway at Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames for private parking spaces. The plans will be considered at a public inquiry starting on Tuesday 7 August. The society will be represented, along with the Chiltern Society, by our local member David…

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Tony Drake, path protector, 1923-2012

March 19, 2012

We are sad to report that our long-standing member Tony Drake has died aged 89. Tony was a walker and mountaineer; for decades he campaigned for public paths, especially in his home county of Gloucestershire and in Wales. Tony was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the only child of Leslie and Gladys Drake. He inherited the…

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