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We are delighted that Yeoman Homes has removed the ugly fencing which blocked access to the lovely Layters Green Common, near Chalfont St Peter in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns.
The Open Spaces Society, with Chalfont St Peter Parish Council, called on Chiltern District Council to take enforcement action against the works which were erected on the common without the necessary common-land consent.
Willow Developments has planning permission to develop Willow Tree House, Layters Green, but the council had told the developer that it must first get consent from the Secretary of State for works on common land under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.
However the developer ignored this instruction and erected a padlocked fence with ‘keep out’ signs and ‘portacabins’ on the common, apparently in breach of the Commons Act and denying the public its right to walk there.
It removed the ‘portacabins’ a few weeks ago, but the fence remained. The society wrote to Yeoman Homes Ltd’s solicitors, pressing for the removal of the padlocked fence, saying that it blocked public access and was unauthorised. While the solicitors would not concede that the fence was unlawful, they have now secured its removal.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘We are pleased that this ugly fencing has been removed so that people may once again exercise their rights to walk over the whole area. Far too often our commons are abused, and it is good to have freed Layters Green Common from this dreadful mess.’
Adds Richard Allen, chairman of Chalfont St Peter Parish Council: ‘The parish council takes a great pride in all the commons in its area. Layters Green Common is a special, tranquil place, which is enjoyed by the community. We are delighted that it has been restored for use by the community.’