Residents are behind bid

Re: Village Green Application; Greenaway Lane

Following Christina Massey’s article on 31/5/2012 I would be grateful if you would allow me to correct some inaccuracies. I submitted the village green application to Derbyshire County Council as vice chairman of Greenaway Lane Residents Association, and on behalf of the local residents of Greenaway Lane. It was not made by Darley Dale Town Council, as stated in your article. The application is a matter of public record.

Full details of the 2006 Commons Act are readily available on the DEFRA government website to anyone who takes the time to read it. The statutory rights it contains enable any one person to apply to register a village green using the correct protocol, and no other mandate is required. The effect of this legislation empowers the ordinary man in the street to counteract the burgeoning activities of big business and bureaucracy, and to protect our public green spaces.

I used the correct procedure in the 2006 Act, following the advice on the DEFRA website, and submitted the application in February 2009. DCC installed new gates to the village green, and local inhabitants have been locked out since May 2009; this was evidenced by DCC staff at the recent public inquiry.

Local residents have never objected to the improvements to the Primary School, or the adjacent derelict site. Our focus has always been the preservation of the George Widdows building, and it’s green playground. I personally think it is wrong to sacrifice our playing fields to build housing, and that is why I have been instrumental in trying to protect this green space. In this we are fully supported by the Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, who have also written and objected to DCC’s

intended appropriation of the site.

I was dismayed by the approach of Cllr Longden at the recent Darley Dale Town Council meeting. It was not appropriate for a paid public official representing a county council with a budget of millions to use this open session to berate a little town council run by volunteers, simply because it had supported a local organization in it’s proper use of a statutory process. Despite the village green application and the Public Inquiry being widely publicized, there was only one objector at the recent Public Inquiry, and yet in one weekend we easily collected over 300 signatures to our petition supporting the application. Councilor Longden maintains that we are not supported by the local community, but he is ill-informed. I suggest he starts to listen to his electorate.

Barry Pearson

Greenaway Lane

Darley Dale