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We have objected to plans by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to swap land on Beverley Westwood Common for a site at Fishwick Mill, to the eastern border of the common.
Because commons are special, the law (section 16 of the Commons Act 2006) requires that suitable exchange land is provided when a common is taken for another purpose. In this case the council wants to construct a footway and cycletrack on the common.
In offering substitute land the council must take account of the interests of the neighbourhood and the public interest. We do not consider that these interests have been met.
The replacement land is already open to the public and has for decades been used and enjoyed for informal recreation. That means that the public does not gain from the exchange, we only lose.
We do not consider that the application meets the necessary criteria and we have asked the Planning Inspectorate, the decision maker on behalf of the Environment Secretary, to reject the proposals.