Open Spaces Society fights development on Ellonby Common

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The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s leading pressure-group for common land, has objected to a planning appeal which would damage Ellonby Common, in the parish of Skelton five miles north-west of Penrith in Cumbria.  The application for a dwelling next to the common with a driveway across it was rejected by Eden District Council last September, but the applicant, Mr J Wilson, has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘We are deeply concerned that Mr Wilson seems to be unaware that his proposed driveway is across registered common land, and that he therefore needs consent for the works from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, in addition to any planning permission.

‘Shamefully, he has failed to mention the existence of the common in his application, and yet this land is of immense natural beauty and public importance.  The public has the right to walk over the whole common, and the driveway would interfere with that right and suburbanise the landscape.

‘We are also dismayed to discover that he has not consulted people with registered rights of common before he submitted his planning application.

‘We urge the Planning Inspectorate to refuse the appeal because of its adverse effect on people’s enjoyment of the common, and on its use by common rightholders,’ Kate concludes.

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