Village green campaigners fear ‘concrete jungle’

Repressed from Get Surrey By Danielle Sheridan
January 24, 2013

RESIDENTS angry at council plans to build another ‘concrete jungle’ are HI130476_19waiting to hear if their sites will be granted village green status.

Residents of Marley Close in Addlestone and Palmer Crescent, Ottershaw, have had their applications for the protected status accepted by Surrey County Council.

For the status to be granted, residents must prove they are of a defined locality and have used the land for legal sports and pastimes for a period of 20 years.

The process of gathering this evidence has been time consuming for resident Jo Reilly, who compiled the application for Ongarhill’s Brick Field in Marley Close and Sue Lewis, who dealt with the application for Palmer Crescent.

Mrs Reilly, who lives in Marley Close and Mrs Lewis, of Palmer Crescent, worked closely in preparing their applications.

“Our names are on the application but we both had lots of support from neighbours in raising awareness, distributing the evidence forms and doing leaflet drops to let residents know what was happening,” said Mrs Reilly.

“The process has taken the best part of a year to reach this point.”

Mrs Lewis described the experience as ‘onerous but worth it’ saying it was a piece of land she regularly uses.

“Even if it is not used, it is aesthetically pleasing and nice to see some green rather than a concrete jungle,” she said.

After hearing of Runnymede Borough Council’s intention to build on land in Marley Close and Palmer Crescent, Mrs Reilly felt securing village green status for the land was the only way campaigners could stop the council from building on it.

She said: “We really do not want this to happen and feel the council is not doing enough and disregards our views.”

Surrey County Council has agreed to look at both applications within a six-week window, which ends on February 22, for any objections to be made.

Mrs Reilly said: “I fully expect Runnymede Borough Council to object because it wants to sell the land.”

As residents wait to hear the objections, they are determined not to give up the campaign without a fight.

“We will keep doing what we can to save this land,” added Mrs Reilly. “Never did I dream I would go down this route to save a piece of land but as a resident, I feel I need to help save it.”

Mario Leo, head of governance and assets for Runnymede, said: “The borough council owns a large amount of land within Runnymede and is required to review the use of all these areas on a regular basis to ensure it is making the best use of them.

“The council has to weigh up the benefits of these sites to nearby communities against the wider needs of the borough.”

He added: “We do take the comments and opinions from our residents seriously but we have to consider the impact on the borough, as a whole, not just the local community.”

 

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About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
This entry was posted in Addlestone, Ottershaw, Runnymede Borough Council, Surrey County Council. Bookmark the permalink.

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