Hands off our open spaces warns society

Residents around the green area in Hastang Fields, Sydenham, are campaigning to stop a playground being built.'MHLC-17-09-12 playground campaign SEP50
Residents around the green area in Hastang Fields, Sydenham, are campaigning to stop a playground being built.'MHLC-17-09-12 playground campaign SEP50

The Open Spaces Society is asking parish councils and other community organisations in Eastbourne and the surrounding areas to act now to save their local open spaces.

The organisation says people should register their open spaces to protect them in the future.

Local OSS correspondent Chris Smith said, “Do you have an open space near you that has been used by local people for recreation for decades?

“If it is not already registered as a village green then you could lose it.

“Registered village greens are protected but Parliament has just passed a law which says that, if a council decides that a piece of land should be scheduled for development, you cannot then register it as a village green to protect it.

“Existing greens are not affected but you need to act now to save any unregistered local open spaces before some developer takes an interest in them.”

An open space can be registered as a green if it meets the relevant criteria which include use by local people as of right without secrecy, force or permission for at least the past 20 years

Chris said, “I encourage local groups to join the Open Spaces Society which can then offer detailed advice.

“The OSS also publishes a guide to registering village greens which is available from www.oss.org.uk/publications”

The Open Spaces Society is Britain’s oldest national conservation body founded in 1865. It campaigns for the protection of common and, town and village greens, other open spaces and public paths, in town and country in England and Wales.

For more information email hq@oss.org.uk, write to the OSS at 25a Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2BA, or telephone 01491 573535.

Councils generally have a list of its registered open spaces which can be inspected at council offices.