Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Hackney Marshes Development - Inspector's Decision

The Open Spaces Society,(1) Britain’s leading national pressure-group for common land,(2) is pleased that plans by the London Borough of Hackney to site a car-park on Hackney Mashes (East) have been refused, but concerned that a pavilion and car-park on Hackney Marshes (North) have been allowed.  The Planning Inspectorate has determined applications for these works on common land, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,(3) following a public inquiry in June.
The objectors to both applications included the Open Spaces Society, the Hackney Marshes User Group, the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee, the Save Lea Marshes Group, Sustainable Hackney and other organisations, as well as local residents.
The inspector, Susan Doran, has decided that the East Marsh car-park would harm the landscape and public access to the area, and therefore she refused it.  However, she considered that the pavilion and car-park on the North Marsh are consistent with the use of the marshes for traditional pastimes and team sports and she has granted consent.
Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘We consider that all these developments should have been rejected as they will blight this lovely green space.  The pavilion and car-park on North Marsh will be ugly and will only serve a limited sector of the public whereas the common should be freely enjoyed by everyone.’
Notes for editors
1          The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body.  It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.  This year it celebrates its 150th anniversary with the hashtag #saveopenspaces150.
2          Common is land subject to rights of common, to graze animals or collect wood for instance, or waste land of the manor not subject to rights.  The public has the right to walk on all commons and to ride on some. 
3          Before any works can be constructed on common land the applicant must obtain the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (via the Planning Inspectorate).  In the case of London commons the consent is sought under article 12 of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Provisional Order Confirmation (Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967.
CONTACT:  Kate Ashbrook     01491 573535 (work)
                                           07771 655694 (mobile)
Kate Ashbrook
General Secretary
The Open Spaces Society
25a Bell Street
Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA
tel 01491 573535, mob 07771 655694
The Open Spaces Society is a registered charity (no 1144840) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 7846516).
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