Government’s spiteful move on village greens

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In a spiteful move against local volunteers, the government proposes to deny the two-month grace period before it drops the guillotine on applications to register development-land as village greens.

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill, currently in the House of Lords, will prevent local people from applying to register land as greens if it is earmarked for development.  The Bill allows a two-month grace period after royal assent.  Now, at the last minute, the government wants to amend it so that there is no grace period and the ban on greens applications takes effect as soon as the Bill is passed.

We are urging members of the House of Lords to vote against these amendments when they are debated on Wednesday (20 March).

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘This is a small-minded antithesis of the so-called Big Society.  It is grossly unfair to introduce such a significant change at this late stage, when nothing has occurred to justify it.  Communities have assumed that they have two months after royal assent in which to submit their applications to register land as greens.  Now they may not have time to do this.

‘There has been no consultation or discussion about this early commencement of the greens measures.  The government has a national stakeholder group to advise it on greens but it has not bothered to consult the group about the change.  The government has deliberately left this change to the last minute in order to appease its friends the developers.’

The amendments are numbers 54, 56, 57 and 58.

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