The Inspector at the non-statutory enquiry has rejected the Parish Council’s application for the site to be designated a town or village green and many will be disappointed. The points that we needed to establish for the case to proceed, and which were contested between the parties, were that
The application was made within the qualifying period
The land owner was not able to satisfy the inspector that signs had been erected within the qualifying period
That the installation of the gas pipe in 2010 did not deal a fatal blow to the application
We were able to establish all those points. We were not able to establish sufficient use, as per the legislation, over the qualifying period of 20 years. The standard of proof required was extremely high and it was not clear how, without precise memory and records, , sufficient use could be established. In addition, we were surprised that the inspector discounted any use of the land for the purposes of getting to the River or ByBrook for canoeing purposes.
The PC would like to thank all those who contributed time and effort in presenting our case.
The inspector’s report (all 71 pages) is available below
Withy Bed – Inspector’s Report
Withy Bed – Appendices