Growth and Infrastructure Bill

Memorandum submitted by Christine Butterwick (GIB 74)

Short submission Re Clause 13 of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill

1. I am alarmed by the news that the above clause will denote any applications for a Village/Town Green to be ‘vexatious’ if put forward after planning permission is sought.

It must often be the case that the land in question has been accepted locally as free for common use, as it has been for generations, and certainly for more than 20 years.

2. I have experienced this at first hand, when an area of grass with a few trees next to my house had plans put forward for houses on the best part of it. I have lived there for 30 years and others around for all their lives and their parents, and we thought it was for common use.

In fact in the local Council’s own plans it had been designated as ‘Important Open Space’ ! When we objected they just over-rode this to say housing was more important, - well, what about the residents quality of life !

Children played there and dogs were walked regularly. Some of us had hoped to get a bench or two put on it, in time.

3. We heard that it a bill had been recently passed to apply for a Village/Town Green, so we did this. It caused us a lot of paperwork, and meetings of people living around the green space.

There was a Public Inquiry, and we lost this. I do think that the system is already very biased against the small person, as we had no legal representation, and the other side had a Lawyer up from London. The reasons given to deny our case were very flimsy, but we could not appeal, as lawyers are expensive, and we are just ordinary working people.

Please throw out Clause 13.

December 2012

Prepared 10th December 2012