Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field as a Town and Village Green Under the Commons Act 2006
- Meeting of Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, Tuesday 8th December, 2015 1.30 pm (Item 5.3)
The planning application was for the registration of land known as Longthorpe Field as a Town or Village Green under section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006.
It was officer’s recommendation that application be refused. The Planning Lawyer provided an overview of the application and highlighted a number of key issues within the report and the additional information.
Keith Markham addressed the Committee in objection to the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· Mr Markham was a parent Governor at Longthorpe Primary School.
· It was believed that the registration of the land in question as a Town or Village green would be statutorily incompatible with its use as a school playing field.
· It was suggested that the intention behind the application was to prevent the school from erecting a fence around the field.
· The school did not wish to close off the entire field.
· Child safety was paramount. Children playing on an open field presented issues such as litter, potential for children to run off and intrusions from outside sources.
· Mr Markham supported the officer recommendation to refuse the application.
David Worth, Applicant, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The application had been submitted in order to preserve the open access to the field, which was being threatened.
· 163 objections had been received, however the notification of the application only asked for objections.
· Four letters of support had been received, two of these from School Governors. It was suggested that earlier support for the application had been received from 152 households.
· OFSTED had visited the school previously and had been happy with the open field arrangements.
· It was understood that the field belonged to the Council and not the School. Mr Worth believed that erecting a fence on the land would take away amenity from local residents.
· The open space adjacent to the application land was considered inappropriate for community use as it was populated with trees.
· It was believed that the problems encountered by the school as a result of the open field were greatly exaggerated.
· There was an existing Village Green on the other side of Longthorpe. This was, however, small and a considerable distance away.
The Committee believed that a compromise would be the most fortuitous outcome, however, understood that no such agreement was forthcoming. Discussion was had regarding the possibility of a fence being erected on the land. The Committee considered that the safety of school children should have significant weight attached to it.
A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that the application be refused, as per officer recommendation. The motion was carried unanimously.
RESOLVED: (unanimous) that the application for registration of land known as Longthorpe Field as a Town or Village Green under section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006 be REFUSED for the reasons set out the Inspector’s preliminary ruling report.
Reasons for the decision
The application land was held and used for a specific statutory purpose. There was manifestly an incompatibility between use of the application land as part of Longthorpe Primary School and registration of the land as a Town or Village Green.
- 6. Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field as a Town and Village Green Under the Commons Act 2006, item 5.3 PDF 92 KB
- 6. Appendix A - Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field, item 5.3 PDF 8 MB
- 6. Appendix B - Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field, item 5.3 PDF 117 MB
- 6. Appendix C - Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field, item 5.3 PDF 9 MB
- 6. Appendix D - Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field, item 5.3 PDF 26 MB
- 6. Appendix E - Application to Register Land at Longthorpe Playing Field, item 5.3 PDF 13 MB