Lancaster green space saved for the community

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We are delighted that Lancashire County Council has agreed to register Freeman’s Wood as a town green, thus saving it from development.

The nine-hectare site is an open field surrounded by woodland next to the Lune industrial estate on the west side of Lancaster. Originally a waste tip for the former linoleum factory, it has since been used for informal recreation since the 1960s.

The Friends of Freeman’s Wood applied to register the land as a green when it was partially fenced in 2012. Lancashire County Council took many years to process the application but at last the case was heard at a public inquiry last year. On 10 February the county council endorsed the recommendation of the inquiry inspector, barrister Alan Evans, and agreed to register the land.

In the meantime, Satnam Investments Ltd, acting on behalf of the landowner, had applied for planning permission for 250 houses here.

The Open Spaces Society gave advice to the Friends, as well as a financial contribution from its legal fund which enabled the Friends to employ a barrister, Cain Ormondroyd, at the inquiry.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘We congratulate the Friends on achieving this important result. Now that the land is registered as a green it is protected from development and local people have rights of recreation here. The society was pleased to help the Friends to save this valuable open space.’

Adds Jon Barry of the Friends: ‘This decision is a great victory for the local community. It’s fantastic that people will still be able to walk their dogs, take exercise, play and explore there. It’s also great news for the many birds and other animals who have made Freeman’s Wood their home.’

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