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Stevenage Borough Council has heeded our advice and has withdrawn its application to fence off part of Norton Green Common. The common is on the south-west side of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, immediately to the west of the A1(M).
The council had applied to the Secretary of State for Environment for consent to erect a fence on the common to enable it to be grazed for nature-conservation reasons. The society objected because the fence, on the southern part of Norton Green Common would restrict public access, interfering with the public’s rights to walk and ride there. It would be a physical and psychological barrier, spoiling people’s enjoyment of the land.
The society complained that the council had failed to consult interested parties before submitting the application. Such consultation is recommended by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The council has now told the society that it is withdrawing the application to enable consultation to take place.
We are pleased that the council listened to our objection and has withdrawn the application. It is possible that, if we can discuss the proposals, we may reach an agreement. It is always wise to consult the society before submitting an application for works on common land.