Town Green Application Accepted by Oxfordshire County Council
One of our members, Jo Cartmell, w ith the knowledge gained from the Trap Grounds "Town Green" process, has beavered away with help from her friends to make an application to have the Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes at Radley and surrounding land declared a ‘Town Green'.
If the application is successful, then development of the site will not be allowed and Thrupp Lake will be saved. It is likely that one of the landowners, at least, will object and the matter may need to be decided in the courts.
Jo Cartmell, who has used the lakes for recreation for many years, ever since her children, now adults, were very young, has been a tireless campaigner against the Power Station's disposal of ash from the start. She is outraged that a huge corporation like RWE can ride roughshod over the wishes of local people in this way and is hoping to succeed using a different set of legislative rules.
This application has now cleared the first stage by being accepted as ‘duly made' by Oxfordshire County Council. If the land is eventually registered as a Town Green, RWE npower will not be able to use it as a dump for 500,000 tonnes of waste ash from Didcot Power Station.
Under the1965 Commons Act, if land has been used by local people ‘as of right' for lawful sports and pastimes for over twenty years, it can be registered as a Town (or Village) Green. That protects it from development.
The County Council now has to advertise the Radley Lakes application and seek comments from the landowners and the general public.
If a large number of comments are received, the County Council is likely to hold a public inquiry in front of an independent inspector into the application. That might lead to a recommendation that the Lakes be registered.
Mrs Jo Cartmell, who made the application, said:
“I am absolutely delighted that my application has cleared the first hurdle. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to put in evidence saying that they have been using the land for recreation for years. Local people love this spot – it is one of the very few places left near Abingdon where you can go and get away from it all.
“It's extraordinary that RWE npower should want to destroy it. They should never have bought the site in the first place – they should have realised how much local people valued it because it is close to their homes. It would have been better if they had thought a bit more carefully about it before they bought the site without getting planning permission first. "
Applications to make the Glebe Land at Sunningwell and the Trap Grounds in Oxford into Greens both ended up in court cases at the House of Lords. In both cases, the Law Lords ruled that the land should be protected. Maybe we shall be as fortunate as those who have battled before us!
Following her application, a public meeting meeting was held which elicited massive support from the community