Sunday, 25 July 2021

‘Last chance to save our green spaces’

A CALL to save green spaces has been made by a Henley pressure group.

A CALL to save green spaces has been made by a Henley pressure group.

From the end of this month when the Growth and Infrastructure Bill is expected to become law, it will be too late to register land as a town or village green if it has been earmarked for development.

Speaking at the Open Spaces Society’s annual meeting at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, general secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “We must act now to save our green spaces.

“A village green is land which has been enjoyed by local people for informal recreation for 20 years without being stopped and without asking permission. Once registered, the land is protected from development.

“If you know of any such land you should apply to Oxfordshire County Council to register it now.”

In 2010, the society helped Henley Town Council register Gillotts Field as a green, protecting it from development, after it was identified by South Oxfordshire District Council as a possible development site.

Ms Ashbrook added: “Another way of saving your green space may be to identify it as local green space in a neighbourhood plan.

“Unfortunately, the Government has said very little about how this can be achieved and exactly what it will mean.

“However, local green space has been defined in the National Planning Policy Framework as an area which is special to the community and holds particular local significance. We need to test the system by identifying such areas now and pressing for their designation.

“Our green spaces have never been more precious or more threatened. The Open Spaces Society has campaigned vigorously for the last 148 years to protect them. We shall keep up the fight.”

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