Presentation of Petition
- Meeting of Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, Tuesday 18th June, 2019 6.30 pm (Item 15.)
Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of
the intention to present a petition in the following terms:-
Village Green Status for Weavering Heath – “We the undersigned petition the Council to request that KCC change the status of Weavering Heath to that of a designated Village Green”.
Mr Clark presented a Petition which requested that the Council approach KCC to change the status of Weavering Heath to that of a designated Village Green and made the following comments:-
Heath had been transferred to the Council under a
Section 106 agreement in 1982 to be used as an open space for 80
The area was used by the community for walking
trails, dog walking, a street picnic, fitness classes and boot
camps. The area also provided a much
needed wildlife haven.
Cllr Hinder addressed the Committee as a Visiting Member and highlighted that:-
That the area was much used by the community and had
a recognised voluntary group which provided assistance with
de-littering and general upkeep.
As mentioned in the Green and Blue Infrastructure
Plan, local people are best placed to help decide on what is best
for their area.
There was no protection for this area in the
Council’s Local Plan.
After 80 years the Council could choose to change
the use of the land and to safeguard it, the residents would like
to ensure that the area is fully protected.
· The residents wanted to improve their community amid traffic chaos and over-development.
The Chairman, in the absence of a report, read out the advice he had received from the Director of Regeneration and Place, which had previously been given to Boxley Parish Council in September 2018.
The Committee noted that:-
Heath had been referred by Ward Homes to Maidstone
Borough Council under a Section 106 Agreement from March 1982 to be
used as a public open space for a period of 80 years. Therefore the
land had protection for a further 44 years (until 2062), although
there was no particular designation for it in the Local
Anyone could make an application to KCC for village
green status but it was usually residents associations, parish
councils or groups of other interested persons who make such
applications. The Council, as the
district Council, could then comment as a consultee.
To achieve village green status the applicant would
need to demonstrate that the public had used the area “as a
right” uninterrupted for at least 20 years. As the land was transferred to the Council
as public open space and the Council set it up as an amenity space,
it would be seen that the public had not used it “as of
right” for the requisite time as the Council as freeholder,
allowed the public to use it. Therefore
this may make the application unsuccessful.
An alternative course of action for the parish might
be to put forward a case under the upcoming review of the MBC Local
Plan to include the land as local green space as such spaces have
similar protection to that of green belt in planning
Committee considered that a report should be presented to the
Committee (or appropriate Committee) on what options would be
available to take this forward and that legal officers be present
when the item is discussed.
RESOLVED: That Officers produce a full report on the options available to the appropriate Committee within the next 2 months.
Voting: For: unanimous