Latest News

Blackbushe airfield stays common land

March 18, 2021

The court of appeal has dismissed a move by Blackbushe Airport Ltd (BAL) to remove the airfield from the register of common land.[1]  The court refused to overturn the decision of the High Court that the land must remain registered as part of Yateley Common.  That decision was defended by Hampshire County Council and the…

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Looking north-west over the new green towards the RCV estate

More take than give

March 18, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, considers the new threat to open spaces from the government’s proposed demolition of the planning system. Step by step our cherished planning system is being destroyed. Last year we slated the government’s white paper, Planning for the Future. Now government intends to extend permitted development rights. This would mean that…

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We criticise sinister Police Bill

March 15, 2021

Along with 250 other organisations, we have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary and Justice Secretary calling on government to rethink the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which has its second reading on 15 and 16 March, having been introduced to parliament only days before. The bill creates numerous new criminal offences,…

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New public freedoms at Dorchester on Thames, Oxon

March 15, 2021

We are celebrating new greens and paths at Dorchester on Thames in Oxfordshire, after a long campaign which we fought alongside local residents. A new landowner, Mr Keith Ives, has removed fences erected by his predecessor.  These denied public access to the historic Dyke Hills, a scheduled Iron Age settlement, and Day’s Lock Meadow beside…

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View across Chesham Bois Common, Buckinghamshire

Chesham Bois Common saved from degradation

March 9, 2021

We are delighted that a damaging plan to create a tarmac, vehicular accessway on Chesham Bois Common in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns has been withdrawn in the face of objections. Last year St Leonard’s Church Parochial Church Council applied for planning permission for an accessway to the parish centre as part of a larger development comprising…

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Long Mynd, Shropshire Hills

Celebrating upland commons

February 16, 2021

Thanks to National Lottery players some of our best loved places in the uplands of England will be better looked after.  A partnership of 24 organisations, including the society, will empower those who graze common land, the commoners, to manage them better to restore peat, create habitats for birds and butterflies, and improve the quality…

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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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Statement on criminal trespass

January 19, 2021

We have joined with eight other organisations in a letter to the Home Secretary, condemning plans to make trespass a criminal offence.  Our letter comes ahead of the publication of the government’s Police Powers and Protections Bill which will enact the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to ‘make intentional trespass a criminal offence’. The society has expressed…

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We back Vision for Planning 2021 launch

January 14, 2021

Our case office, Nicola Hodgson, has helped to craft this Vision for Planning document which was launched at an event on 14 January attended by the housing minister, Chris Pincher. Eighteen organisations representing housing, planning, transport, the environment, heritage and public health, came together to promote an alternative vision to the government’s Planning for the…

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Our last-minute bid to rescue lost commons

January 4, 2021

We have made 78 applications to rescue lost commons in England’s seven pioneer areas[1]  before the deadline of 31 December 2020. The applications are to register these precious spaces as common land.  If successful, they will give the public the right to walk, and in some cases to ride, on the land and will protect…

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