The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has rejected an application for a driveway across Long Green and Spears Hill Common, at Wortham in Suffolk.
Mrs KMP Smith, the owner of Deo Gratias which adjoins the common, had applied, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, for consent to construct an access driveway to serve a new house next to the common. The environment secretary appointed an inspector, Mr Alan Beckett, to determine the matter on his behalf.
We objected to the proposed driveway because it is of purely private benefit and an inappropriate use of common land.
The inspector said that the new access ‘would introduce a further element of urbanisation into this part of Long Green…’. He also noted that the proposed driveway was not the only practical means of access to the applicant’s development land as the existing driveway to Deo Gratias would provide such access without the negative impacts on the common rightholders or the public.
The inspector made a site visit last December and noted that there had been excavation of the common without consent. The applicant has given an assurance that she will restore the common if consent is refused, and we hope she will now do so.