‘Victory for common sense!’ Residents win battle to keep beauty spot as village green

Campaigners have won a legal battle to keep Mistley Quay as a village green Picture: ARCHANT

Campaigners have won a legal battle to keep Mistley Quay as a village green Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A village’s 10-year battle to keep a popular beauty spot as its green has been won in the Court of Appeal.

Campaigners on Mistley Quay Picture: FREE THE QUAY GROUP

Campaigners on Mistley Quay Picture: FREE THE QUAY GROUP - Credit: Archant

The decision means Mistley Quay, in Mistley, remains classified as a village green and will be available for villagers to use for leisure purposes.

The Mistley Free the Quay group first challenged the port owners – TW Logistics – in 2008 after a two-metre tall fence was erected along the edge of the quay.

The group argued the spot had been used for centuries by locals for activities, access to the water and to enjoy the sweeping views.

Campaigners applied for the area to be given village green status in 2010 and were successful in achieving the registration in 2013 following a public inquiry.

The port owners then lodged a High Court challenge seeking removal of the quay from the register of town and village greens.

This led to a trial at the High Court in July 2016, where it was ruled the quay should keep its registration as a village green.

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TW Logistics then challenged the ruling in the Court of Appeal but the status of the Mistley Quay as a village green was upheld.

Simon Bullimore, chairman of the Mistley Free the Quay group, said it was a “victory for common sense”.

“We are absolutely delighted, it’s been a long 10-year battle but it’s just terrific,” he said.

“I’m very happy for the people of Mistley because this has been a campaign over a long period of time and a lot of hard work by a lot of people has made it possible.

“It’s a victory for common sense and a victory for local people.”

The decision will not result in the immediate removal of the fence along the edge of the quay.

Ian Tucker, who lives in Mistley and made the application for the registration of the village green, said: “No-one would have thought that a simple application to register a village green followed by a public inquiry would end up in the Court of Appeal.

“We have been very fortunate to have had the encouraging support of Nigel Farthing and Richard Eaton of Birketts LLP throughout the proceedings which has been invaluable in achieving this successful result.”

Villagers are now planning to hold a celebration on the quay on Sunday, October 14, with live music and refreshments.

TW Logistics has been contacted for comment.

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