Sweet little Village Greens?

Picture the scene – an English Village. A pub, handful of (essential) shops – butcher and baker. A post office with one of those old telephone boxes. Hanging baskets and a war memorial. A village green where they play cricket in the summer.

Village greens are an important part of this idyllic scene – they have a social part to play. They also give space to people. All good things.

But in recent years they have been used as a stalking horse to prevent developments. Not the Village Green in my vignette – but rather any piece of land which the public can claim they have walked their dogs on or just had some sort of amenity from (use your imagination if you like). Even if the land concerned isn’t publicly owned anyone can apply to the Local Authority to get a designation that the land is a “Town of Village Green”. Under the Commons Act 2006 it is possible to get a parcel land listed as a Town or Village Green if you can prove that you have used the land without secrecy, force or permission.

And that is that. It becomes such if the Council find in the applicants favour. You can no longer build your dream home…

The Englishman’s Castle is his Home rules don’t apply.

In the last week the Government have issued some new Planning Frameworks as a consultation draft. This suggests that local residents will be able to earmark local ‘green space’ for consideration. In other words another route to a Town or Village Green. And yet, in the same week the Government also said that they would look at the Commons Act with a view stopping Councils using it to stop legitimate development!

You do wonder sometimes if Government is joined up at all?

By Tim GARRATT Posted in Green stuff, Grumpy Old Man! Tagged Commons Act 2006, development, Planing, Town & Village Green, Village Green

Leave a Reply