Village Greens review is unnecessary and premature

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‘The proposed review of the process for registering new town and village greens is unnecessary and premature.’

The green at Brindle Lane, Forty Green, Bucks

The green at Brindle Lane, Forty Green, Bucks

This is our response the recently-announced review by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).(1)

Says our case officer, Nicola Hodgson: ‘The current process for registering land as greens in England only took effect in April 2007.  Since then, we have assisted many communities to register land which they have long enjoyed and cherished for quiet recreation.  We are dismayed that there are plans to review this new process.

‘We are also concerned that, even though the report to Defra shows that the majority of village green applications are made to preserve land for the benefit of the local community, rather than because the land is threatened by development proposals, Defra intends to carry out a review of the process for registering greens.

‘Amended procedures are being piloted now in seven areas of England, and these are being reviewed by Defra.  So it is far too soon to be reconsidering the registration process for greens.

‘We fear that this review is being fuelled by a few controversial cases, and that it could lead to the loss of a legitimate process for local people to record as greens land which they have long used and enjoyed,’ Nicola concludes.

To read the report, click here

1. Defra commissioned the Countryside & Community Research Institute and Asken Ltd to examine a sample of the sites which have, and have not, been registered as town and village greens since January 2004, and to determine whether the sites were earmarked for development in local development plans or subject to planning applications.

To listen to Kate Ashbrook’s interview on the Today programme on 25 November 2009, please click here

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