Monday, 10 August 2020

Threat of lost land

A HENLEY campaign group has urged the Government to help the public protect common land and greens.

The Open Spaces Society, which is based in Bell Street, is concerned that the deadline for registering lost commons in seven council areas is only six months away and says this should be extended to prevent them from being lost forever.

The research required to protect lost commons involves visits to records offices and other archives but this has not been possible since March due to the coronavirus lockdown.

In the case of town and village greens, once a landowner publicly challenges the recreational use of land, the users have only one year in which to apply to register it as a green.

This safeguards the land and confirms the rights of local people to enjoy informal recreation there.

The society wrote to the ennvironment minister Lord Gardiner.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the society, said: “We note that the Business and Planning Bill 2019-2021 intends to allow an automatic extension of the time limit for implementing planning permissions which were due to expire before December 31 and to introduce other measures to assist developers who have been inconvenienced by the pandemic.

“It is therefore unjust not to assist the public who are endeavouring to record and protect land which ought to be registered as common or green.  We are simply asking for a fair deal.”

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