1 July 2010

It's Those People Off The Telly

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Well-known television personalities are the latest people to fall victim to the fake village green scam.
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Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs among other excellent programmes, is still having to cope with nimby spurious ‘village green’ nutters, despite his new scheme winning almost universal praise.

His case is in Gorse Hill, Swindon. Fortunately, some of the people opposing the new homes seem a few vouchers short of a toaster. Here is how the Swindon Advertiser reported the state of play on 22 June 2010:

'Josie Lewis, 57, who has led the campaign against the proposed £19m 200-home development, said the council’s claim that the land was not eligible to be registered as a town green was based on false evidence.

Miss Lewis, who has a house in Tiverton Road that backs on to Kembrey Grass, said: “A decision cannot be made on disputed evidence.

“We will maintain our fight to save this field for public use. The Open Spaces Society has written to the council urging them to reconsider our application on the grounds of disputed evidence.

“This is a much-used amenity and it is disgraceful that the council has refused our application when the evidence was clearly disputed.

“Open spaces can also only be developed if the majority of the community is in favour of it and it is clear in this case that they are not”.'

Another public figure to fall victim to the swindle is Deborah Meaden. She is one of the stars of Dragon’s Den, and also author of Common Sense Rules.

Here is how the so-called Open Spaces Society (it is based in a building) described their 'triumph' in stopping homes:

'Barbara Clark, our member at Brixham, is delighted that a public-inquiry inspector has recommended Torbay Council to register the three-acre Wishings Field as a green. The inspector, land-law barrister William Webster, recommended that the land should be registered, in the face of objections from the landowner, Mudstone LLP, one of whose partners is the TV Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden. The objectors argued that the land had been used as an informal recreation area for guests of a nearby holiday park, and that the public had been turned off, but the inspector found some of their evidence to be ‘unreliable’ and ‘inherently implausible’. Planning permission had been granted for 48 houses, but will they now be built?'