Northumberland County Council has withdrawn its plan to deregister 4,400 square metres (just over one acre) of Amble Braid village green in order to create a car-park.
The society was among the objectors to the proposal which was to be determined by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The society helped local people to register the much-loved Amble Braid as a village green in 2009. Then it was under threat of a supermarket on the adjoining land. As a village green, the land is protected from development and local people have rights of recreation here.
Northumberland County Council owns the land. It applied under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006 to remove a strip of land from the heart of the village green and replace it with part of the recreational area north of The Gut. Since people already enjoy recreation rights there, they would have gained nothing and lost a great deal.
Now PINS has written to the objectors to say: ‘Northumberland County Council has decided to withdraw the application and has advised that it will no longer be pursuing any proposals to deregister any part of the village green or to introduce any proposals for further parking on the village green area of the Braid’.
This is tremendous news. We knew this was a case we had to fight. Having helped local people to rescue their wonderful green once we could not stand by and see it smothered by a car-park.
In our objection to PINS we argued that the environment secretary’s published policy states that the public must be no worse off in consequence of the exchange and that the replacement land must not already be subject to public access. Here the public would be worse off, since the replacement land offered them nothing new, and the exchange land was already accessible. Perhaps the council realised that it could not win and decided to withdraw gracefully.
We are truly delighted that this splendid green is safe, for local people and visitors to enjoy.’
Local activists, including former Amble Town Councillor Terry Barton, are delighted by the outcome.