Bid for town green fails

A BID to register land at Denne Hill or Barrackfield, Southwater, as a town or village green failed on Tuesday.

Residents submitted 38 evidence forms of recreational use of the land via Peggy Gledhill, who submitted the application, one letter of support and there were 17 letters of objection.

Mrs Gledhill also submitted newspaper clippings and photographs going back to 1991 showing large numbers of local people on the land during several periods of snow

A report to the Rights of Way Committee by West Sussex County Council’s head of legal and democratic services Tony Kershaw said for an application to success it ‘must be shown that a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality have indulged in lawful sports or pastimes as of right (ie without permission, force or secrecy) on the application land for at least 20 years and they continued to do so at the date of the application’.

The landowner said use had been permitted but it had always been made clear it was not ‘as of right’.

Notices were put up in 2008 and 2009 and users had ‘always been challenged and given permission where appropriate’. He said the cohesive nature of a ‘locality’ had not been shown and Mr Kershaw said not all of the Commons Act 2006 had therefore been met.

“Whilst it is not disputed that access to the land has been available for the full 20 year period, it is concluded that the evidence does not support the premise that on the balance of probabilities th application land has been used ‘as of right’ for lawful sports and pastimes for the whole of this period,” he said.

“It is also concluded the cohesive nature of a ‘locality’ or ‘neighbourhood’ has not been proven.”