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We have called on Worcestershire County Council to reject an application to deregister part of Trimpley Green¹, common land near Kidderminster.
The application² was made to the council in July 2016, in relation to land east of the pond on the Habberley road. The application suggests that the land to be deregistered is part of the curtilage of Crofton Lodge and Crofton Park, and should be removed from the register so that it would cease to be common land. The society has submitted an objection to the application, and encouraged others who care about the integrity of their green to object too.
If the land were to be deregistered it would no longer benefit from the protection given by special legislation which requires the Secretary of State to give consent for any development or encroachment there, in addition to planning permission.
Hugh Craddock, one of our case officers, said: ‘We object strongly to this application, and have called upon the council to reject it out of hand. The applicants must prove that the land was part of the curtilage of the adjacent dwellings since 1968, but we have seen no evidence of that. Indeed, local people well remember this part of the common in those days, and say that the driveway was put down only in the 1970s — although we can find no trace of any permission to enable that to be done on a common.’
‘It is clear that this application flies in the face of local opinion and is poorly conceived. There is no suggestion that this part of the common was wrongly registered, but the applicants think that because they manage it as an extension of their gardens, it should cease to be part of the common. We disagree — and so do many others who care deeply about Trimpley Green.’
¹ Trimpley Green is registered as common land by Worcestershire County Council. It is 22 acres in extent, and is subject to registered rights to graze sheep, cattle, horses and goats, as well as rights of estovers (a right to collect firewood), piscary (fishing in the pond) and pannage (turning out pigs in the autumn to forage on beechmast and acorns).
² The application is made by the owners of Crofton Park and Crofton Lodge, and seeks to deregister part of the common which lies between those dwellings and the nearby pond. The application is made under paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006. In order to succeed, the applicants must show that the application land was curtilage of a building at the time of registration in 1968, and has remained curtilage ever since.