Growth and Infrastructure Bill

Memorandum submitted by Councillor David Trenbath (GIB 02)

I would like to state my disapproval of clause 13 of the Growth & Infrastructure Bill.

Village greens are a quintessential feature of our English heritage, conjuring up images of lazy summer days, village games and a central area for the villagers to gather . This lawful status is derived by local residents having indulged in village fates, lawful sports and using the village green as a meeting place for a period of at least 20 years.

It is the right of the villagers to have a central area they can be proud of and should have a sustained right to be able to apply for village green status were the land owners have allowed without clause . Far too often do we see land owners holding onto land knowing that over time its value will rise due to the increasing demand to live in the countryside.

There are enough areas of brown belt land or homes that are in desperate need of renovation, which should sustain the present building requirements. The Government has already reduced urban fringe building permissions in the North West and North East through special planning guidance for these regions – setting "stretching targets for reusing brown fields" If the government has made this precedence how can it allow building on village greens.

I agree we desperately need to review how we approach the national housing crisis but we should not be lead by land owners or construction companies who will build on green belt and then use the brown belt areas to extend even further their financial empires.

"If we succeed in this, we will conserve land, protect green spaces and enhance the cohesion of our cities, towns and villages so that our children will inherit communities worth living in". Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Development a Review of the Sustainable Communities Plan. Professor Anne Power.

November 2012

Prepared 14th November 2012