Latest News

We fight development on Hampshire common

October 29, 2019

We have objected to an application from Mr Christopher Ball to build three houses and an access road on Odiham Common in Hampshire. The land, at Potbridge, is registered common land. Any development on common land requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in addition to any planning…

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Our dismay at Durham County Council’s proposed common-land swap

October 29, 2019

We have objected strongly to an application from Durham County Council to deregister part of The Sands common in the city centre in order to build a new council headquarters, and to offer in exchange land to the north of the common but quite separate from it. The application, under section 16 of the Commons…

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The meaning of ‘curtilage’

October 28, 2019

On 12 June this year, inspector Alan Beckett granted an application to deregister around 46 hectares of Blackbushe aerodrome at Yateley Common.  The application, made by Blackbushe Airport Ltd (BAL), was made under paragraph 6 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006, on the basis that the land was ‘covered by a building or…

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Leigh Common saved from development

October 28, 2019

Through court action the society has saved part of Leigh Common from developers. Leigh Common is a nine-hectare woodland and grassland nature reserve in Colehill, near Wimborne—the first common land in Dorset to be registered in 1967 and given permanent protection.  In 2016 developers Gleeson Developments Ltd applied to Dorset County Council (now Dorset Council)…

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Northern downfall of Black Mountain from Waun Lefrith

Len Clark, 1916 – 2019

October 24, 2019

Our vice-president Len Clark has died aged 103. Len was a pillar of strength to, and wise critic of, numerous organisations: the Youth Hostels Association (YHA), National Trust, Campaign for National Parks and ourselves. In 1978 he became our commons liaison officer, a roving researcher who travelled England and Wales on his Honda 50 motorbike…

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Bovingdon Common Hertfordshire

We help to save part of Hertfordshire common

October 24, 2019

We are delighted that we have helped to save part of a Hertfordshire common. The land is a wide roadside verge of High Street, in the village of Bovingdon, four miles south-west of Hemel Hempstead. Dacorum Borough Council wanted to use 140 square metres of the common for six, surfaced, car-parking bays, near the junction…

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OSS Allendale common Helipad October 2018

Helipad on Northumberland common

October 15, 2019

We have objected to a planning application from the East Allenheads Estate which would damage part of Allendale Common in Northumberland.  The application is for a helicopter-landing area with concrete hard-standing. The applicant claims that this is a retrospective application to re-surface an existing helicopter landing, but the Open Spaces Society and other objectors argue…

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We fight fencing plan on Ugthorpe Common

October 8, 2019

The society has objected to an application from the Mulgrave Estate for nearly a mile of new fencing on Ugthorpe Common near Whitby in the North York Moors National Park.  This is in addition to a retrospective application to replace more than two miles of fencing on the common. The estate applied to the Secretary…

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Barratt’s backs down over future of Leigh Common, Dorset

October 2, 2019

We have prevailed in a High Court action to halt further development of Leigh Common. Leigh Common is a 9-hectare woodland and grassland nature reserve in Colehill, near Wimborne—the first in Dorset to be registered in 1967 and given permanent protection. In 2016 developers Gleeson Developments Ltd applied to Dorset County Council to deregister Leigh…

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A hand up from Glover

September 30, 2019

The report of the English landscapes review, led by Julian Glover, was published on 21 September 2019.  We submitted evidence in 2018. The review covered national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs).  It recognises the great importance of these landscapes and the affection for them, while noting that their founding mission has been…

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