March 9 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 31, 2014
Villagers in east Suffolk are hoping to gain protected status for their village green to safeguard it for the future.
Plans have been submitted to register an area of land next to Church Terrace in Wickham Market – known as The Pightle – as a village green to stave off unwanted development.
Keith Wallace, whose property overlooks the land, made the official application with backing from the parish council and village partnership “to regularise something that should have been done 20 years ago”.
“The whole idea is that once it’s registered people can’t interfere with the public’s right to use it,” he said
“Most of the village greens in Suffolk are already registered, so it’s rather an anomaly that this wasn’t.”
Bryan Hall, a Suffolk Coastal district councillor and member of Wickham Market Partnership, said the scheme was “desirable by most people in the village”.
“It’s accepted by many that there may be more development in Wickham but we thought it vital to maintain a quiet space,” he said.
To achieve official village green status it must be proven that the land has been used for recreation by the community for at least 20 years.
Mr Wallace said he had found evidence of the The Pightle’s community use from 1455, comfortably satisfying that legal requirement.