14 May 2010
Now that a new government is being formed - more junior ministers will be announced today - DEFRA's old website has been suspended and a new one will shortly be under construction.
DEFRA has, until now, been the government department responsible for the village green law of England and Wales. Caroline Spelman is the new Secretary of State.
The ideologues and zealots who inhabited parts of New Labour and DEFRA, along with their friends at unaccountable pressure goups and lobbying outfits like the so-called Open Spaces Society, meant that the acronym DEFRA stood for Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Activity.
Affordable housing for ordinary working people, and much needed community facilities in villages and towns, have become vulnerable targets for their anti-development "let's pretend this is a village green" antics and nonsense.
When Parliament has settled in, the Campaign for Real Village Greens will bring MPs' attention to the scandal of the effective theft of people's property, and the charter for grossly unreasonable nimbys, that is the disgraceful current legislative mess concerning the formerly glorious concept of the English village green.
The modern decline into chaos and bad law started with a House of Lords opinion, given in 1999. This most peculiar of judgements became known as Sunningwell. In legal terms, it was a floodgates case.
The judicial appeal role of the House of Lords has recently been abolished. All decent people will hope the dog's breakfast that they have created over spurious modern so-called 'village greens' will not be far behind.