Council Opposes Village Green Protection for Haven Green
They say the land doesn't require special status
An application to protect Haven Green from developers has met with opposition - from Ealing Council.
Retired university professor and local resident Nick Woodward wants the area bordering Ealing Broadway Station to be preserved and has applied for village green status.
The Open Spaces Society says there has been an increase in such applications throughout the country and believe there are now around 3650 registered greens in England and about 220 in Wales.
According to the definition 'a green is any land on which a significant number of inhabitants of any area has indulged in lawful sports and pastimes, for 20 years, as of right.'
Mr Woodward, 68, from Castlebar Avenue says he was annoyed with plans to build a bus interchange on the Green and wanted to put a stop to private developers grabbing more of the land.
He says: '' Haven Green has existed as common land since medieval times. I didn't want it to see it being nibbled away and decided it needed some legal protection. To me it was an open and shut case. ''
The application was publicised and the deadline for comments was 15th March 2010.
Mr Woodward received 50 letters of support and two objections - from council officers.
Director of Regeneration Pat Hayes writes:
''It is important that any additional designation of Haven Green does not further prejudice the ability to provide an improved transport interchange at Ealing Broadway which is a shared aspiration of the council and local community.''
He notes that Haven Green is already designated as common land and concludes:
'' .. in our opinion it is not appropriate or necessary for it to have additional status as a village green.''
The second objection, sent by Roger Jones, Director of Environment and Leisure, focuses on whether the green is being used 'as of right' - or, as the council argue 'by right'.
Mr Woodward says he will contest this legality.
As the designated authority, the Council will decide whether to reject the application or allow it to proceed to a hearing. This could be by way of a specially convened Commons and Village Green Registration Panel, or an independent Inquiry.
March 24th, 2010