Town greens should be integral to development

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‘Developers should be required to dedicate land as a town or village green whenever they are given planning permission for a development.’ So said our general secretary Kate Ashbrook, speaking at a debate organised by CPRE London on Your right to the city—do we need an urban right to roam? on Thursday (23 May).

Kate argued that new green spaces and public paths should be integral to development.

Haven Green common, a vital open space

She said: ‘We advocate the dedication of green space as a town green because it is protected for ever and local people have rights of recreation there. It is a permanent space of value to the community.’

‘If developers are to be permitted to build, they must give something back to the community. Green spaces for air and exercise are invaluable.

We argue that those green spaces and paths should have public rights of access so they cannot later be filched. London should show the way by adopting such policies and implementing them.’

It is possible for local people to register land as a town green if they have enjoyed 20 years use for recreation, without permission or challenge. However, it is essential that the land is not already threatened with planning. We urge people to look round their localities and see if there is any land which might qualify, gather the evidence of use and put in an application to the London borough to register the land as a green. Then it will be safe for ever.’

‘Land has been registered at Talacre Gardens in Camden and King’s Stairs Gardens in Southwark. We should like to see many more greens in London,’ said Kate.

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